HP Inc leads amid falling global PC shipments: Gartner

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Although the situation improved as the year progressed, the shortage of key components such as SSD (Solid State Drives) acted as a major driver of shipments for much of 2017, with top PC companies vying to lock up supply ahead of price increases and thus boosting orders. China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012. It shipped about 16.5 million units all by itself, and it captured 23.5 percent of the market.

"The fourth quarter results confirmed again that PCs are no longer popular holiday gift items".

As per the data compiled by Gartner, the overall PC market was mainly adversely affected by weak demand for consumer PCs. As the PC market has been on a decline in recent years, this marks the first growth for the holiday quarter in six years, IDC says. For the year, shipments decreased by 2.8 percent to Dollars 262.5 million. However, IDC analysts view this as a sign that the market is steadying out, pointing to 2017 as the most stable year for the market since 2011.

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Steep PC Shipment Decline in the U.S.

According to a new report from market tracker IDC, shipments of new PCs rose in Q4 2017 by 0.7% from Q4 of 2016, beating the forecast of a decline of 1.7%. The success of the 11.11 shopping festival and the continuing demand for PCs in the commercial market drove the China PC market to 1.1 percent growth in the quarter. The firms agree that HP Inc.

Hong Kong-based Lenovo grabbed the second spot in the global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 with a market share of 22 per cent, followed by Dell with a market share of 15.2 per cent. Meanwhile, Acer's focus on gaming PCs and related products, as well its presence in Chromebooks, helped it to close the gap with ASUS, despite a year-over-year decline in shipments.

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For the full year, the top four vendors accounted for 64 percent of global PC shipments. For the fourth consecutive quarter, Lenovo experienced a decline in shipments. Apple came next, with shipments up 1.4 percent in the quarter and its market share going higher to 7.6 percent from 7.4. The United States remained a challenging market while Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was stable and Japan continued to make steady gains with its sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

Dell's shipments grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was PC shipment growth in Asia-Pacific, Japan and Latin America. However, the US market witnessed a steep decline as consumers were seen preferring new "popular products, such as voice-enabled speakers, and newly released smartphones" over PCs during the holiday season, per Kitagawa. For more, be sure to give IDC's full report a gander. Acer and Asus are tied for fifth place with around 4.5 million units and a 6.4 percent share. Jay Chou, IDC research manager, noted in a statement that "The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the hard environment in retail and consumer PCs". "This does not mean that PCs will disappear from households", noted Kitagawa.

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IDC's Chou has more or less similar views as he mentioned that "Enticed by a growing array of products that promise all-day battery life, high portability, and address emerging use cases that require more compute power, pockets of the consumer base are taking a serious look at these revamped PCs".

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