Worldwide PC and notebook shipments have marked six consecutive years of decline after closing 2017 with a 2.8 per cent fall.
The fourth quarter of 2017 alone recorded a two per cent decline due to weak demand from the United States (US) and in the consumer sector, according to research firm, Gartner.
Asia Pacific, however, recorded a 0.6 per cent increase in the fourth quarter of 2017, selling 25 million units, compared to the same period in 2016.
The consumer market stabilised with fourth-quarter online sales in many countries, which drove demand for gaming PCs and thin and light notebooks. China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.
Worldwide PC shipments totalled 71.6 million units in the fourth quarter, 4.6 million more than the third quarter.
This was the 13th consecutive quarter of declining global PC shipments
"In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was PC shipment growth in Asia Pacific, Japan and Latin America. There was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA," principal analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa, said. "However, the US market saw a steep decline, which offset the generally positive results in other regions.”
According to Kitagawa, the results show that PCs are no longer a popular Christmas gift, but it will not disappear from households yet.
"Rather, the PC will become a more specialised, purpose-driven device. PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices (ASPs) and improve profitability in the long run," Kitagawa added.
"However, until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users."
HP maintained the leadership in PC sales during the fourth quarter, shipping more than 16,000 units and growing its market share to 22.5 per cent. According to Gartner, HP showed year-over-year growth in all regions, including the US.
On the other hand, Lenovo experienced decline for the fourth consecutive quarter, showing moderate growth in EMEA and Asia Pacific and shipments declined in North America.
Just like in the previous quarter, Dell followed in third showing a slow growth from 10,154 to 10,841 units.
Asus was overtaken by Apple, who sold 5,449 units. Asus took the fifth spot with a total of 4,731 units shipped, or 161 units’ difference from the third quarter.
According to Gartner, the top four vendors in 2017 accounted for 64 per cent of global PC shipments.
"The top vendors have taken advantage of their volume operations to lower production costs, pushing small to midsize vendors out of the market," Kitagawa said.