Component shortages causing PC prices to rise - Gartner

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Lenovo was the No. 2 PC shipper in the third quarter, although Gartner said that the company is "in a downward trend with declining shipments in eight of the last 10 quarters". Very simply, Gartner counts Surface and Surface-type tablets as PC's but not iPads as noted in their verbiage found beneath their chart below.

In Asia-Pacific, PC shipments reached 24 million units in the third quarter of 2017, down 2.1 per cent from the same period a year ago with PC demand in the business segment remaining steady, especially for notebooks. In the U.S. market, all PC makers saw a decline in shipment numbers-HP registered the lowest decline at 2.7% year-on-year to soften the blow, while Lenovo lost the most with a 25.2% decline in shipments and Asus clocked a 22% decline. In fact, HP is in an upward trend, as it has experienced five consecutive quarters of global PC growth. Although, desktops did perform better than forecast, the category also experienced another declining quarter.

IDC agrees with Gartner that HP was up, but found that Lenovo, Dell, and Apple were largely flat.

The traditional PC market has clocked a better than expected result for the third quarter, with HP Inc logging a "notable" shipment increase for the period thanks to big wins in Asia Pacific.

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Among the hardest hit companies was Asus, which saw sales decline 9 percent during Q3 2017 to 4.89 million units.

This was especially evident in Europe, where the traditional PC market continued to show signs of progress towards stabilisation for another quarter, IDC said.

"Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive PC shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region", Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement.

The market watcher said a scarcity of DRAM components, which has put a hole in the PC profits of major vendors including Dell EMC, became even more severe in the third quarter of 2017 when compared with the first half of the year. "The countries with stable economies, such as the United States, have created a positive sentiment among businesses, especially for SMBs, which are more vulnerable to external events such as economic or political [ones]", said Kitagawa. Gartner expects the DRAM shortage to continue on to the end of 2018.

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"The U.S. traditional PC market exhibited lower overall growth, contracting 3.4% in 3Q17", said Neha Mahajan, senior. research analyst, Devices & Displays. The outlook for the fourth quarter remains cautious, likely with a small decline in volume for the quarter and the year.

It is unclear if shipments will continue to decline for Apple or if things will eventually pick up, so we'll just have to wait and see.

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