Sales of personal computers could be stabilising after four consecutive years of decline and chances are that it could see improvement over previous quarters, a new market research report has suggested.
According to market researcher IDC, the shipments of PCs dropped 3.9 per cent int the third quarter of 2016, but this was a narrower decline from earlier years. During the quarter as many as 68 million units of PCs were shipped compared to 70.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier. If we look at the sales decline for the previous quarter, it stood at 4.1 per cent year-over-year while unit sales in the US rose 1.7 percent, a second consecutive quarterly gain.
IDC believes that the PC market is likely levelling off after four consecutive years of declines and this could be because consumers and businesses are busy replacing their aging devices and opting for new models. Further, hoping that the trend will continue, even industry players have been ramping up production and stocking their inventories to meet with the demands generated during the holiday season.
“We are very pleased to see some improvement in the market,” said Loren Loverde, IDC’s vice president, worldwide PC trackers & forecasting. “Industry efforts to update products to leverage new processors and operating systems” have been critical, he said.
Gartner on the other hand isn’t too much convinced with this and has a more pessimistic report for the third-quarter report on PC shipments. Gartner’s report shows a decline of 5.7 per cent globally from a year earlier and little change in the US Sluggish demand during the back-to-school season and poor sales in some overseas markets dragged down the results.
“In emerging markets, PC penetration is low, but consumers are not keen to own PCs,” Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “Consumers in emerging markets primarily use smartphones or tablets for their computing needs, and they don’t find the need to use a PC as much as consumers in mature markets.”
Intel raised its forecast for the third-quarter sales last month citing signs of “replenishment of PC supply chain inventory,” and “seeing some signs of improving PC demand.”
As far as rankings are concerned, according to IDC, Lenovo continues to dominate the PC market with a 21.3 per cent share followed by HP with a 21.2 per cent share and Dell completing the top 3 tablet with 15.8 per cent share. No. 4 Apple had 7.4 per cent of the market, down from 8.1 per cent a year earlier.
In US shipments, the top three providers gained market share, according to IDC. HP was No. 1 with almost 30 per cent while Dell had 26 per cent and Lenovo had 15 per cent. No. 4 Apple also lost ground in its home market, falling to 11.8 per cent from 13.9 per cent.
PC shipments were bolstered by strength from Google-backed Chromebooks in the education segment, along with a build up of inventory, IDC said. Still, the outlook is “cautious” for the fourth quarter, the researcher said.
Shipments to other areas, such as Asia, were better than forecast, IDC said. Japan’s market returned to positive growth in the quarter, fueled by demand for Windows systems.