PC industry roars back to life in North America, but is sluggish worldwide

13 Jul 2016

The PC industry in North America has reported its first growth in five quarters

The PC industry returned to growth in North America for the first time in five quarters, but, worldwide, the industry is in decline, according to both IDC and Gartner.

Gartner reported that worldwide PC shipments totalled 64.3m in the second quarter of 2016, a decline of 5.2pc on last year. IDC pegged total shipments worldwide at 62.4m, a decline of 4.5pc.

Either way, this is slightly good news, as it beats a forecast drop by IDC of 7.4pc.

‘One of the ongoing problems in the PC market has been the price hike in selected regions due to the weakening local currency against the US dollar’

Improvement in channel inventories appears to have contributed to the stronger results, said IDC’s Loren Loverde.

“The PC market continues to struggle as we wait for replacements to accelerate, along with some return of spending from phones, tablets, and other IT,” said Loverde.

“Our long-term outlook remains cautious. However, the strong results in the US offer a glimpse of what the market could look like with pockets of growth and a stronger overall environment. It’s not dramatic growth, but it could push the market into positive territory slightly ahead of our forecast for 2018.”

While the UK’s vote to exit the European Union did not have a major impact in the worldwide PC results in the second quarter of 2016, Gartner analysts said Brexit could potentially create uncertainty, not only in currency, but also the entire economy beyond Europe.

“One of the ongoing problems in the PC market has been the price hike in selected regions due to the weakening local currency against the US dollar,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“The price issue has impacted the EMEA and Latin America regions for the past year. However, PC shipment declines became rather modest in the second quarter compared with previous quarters, which suggests a fading currency impact.”

North America rising

The US saw a healthy jump in growth in the second quarter, as HP and Dell continued to vie for leadership and there was a significant increase in devices shipped with Google’s Chrome OS.

Both Gartner and IDC agree that Lenovo remained the worldwide PC market leader, with them assessing its Q2 market share at 20.5pc and 21.2pc respectively.

Lenovo is followed closely by HP, which Gartner and IDC estimate has a market share of either 19.1pc and 20.8pc, respectively.

Apple is the fifth biggest shipper of personal computer devices and both IDC and Gartner estimate its global market share at around 7.1pc.

Gartner’s global PC picture

Gartner_Q2_PCIDC’s global PC picture


North America image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years