The worldwide PC market grew 1.5 per cent during the second quarter of 2019 as Windows 10 refresh cycles halted two quarters of decline.
That’s according to preliminary findings by Gartner, which report that shipments totalled 63 million units during the three-month period, up from 62 million units in the second quarter of 2018.
“Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market in the second quarter of 2019,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “Desktop PC growth was strong, which offset a decline in mobile PC shipments.
“Additionally, there are signs that the Intel CPU shortage is easing, which has been an ongoing impact to the market for the past 18 months.
“The shortage mainly impacted small and midsize vendors as large vendors took advantage and continued to grow, taking market share away from the smaller vendors that struggled to secure CPUs.”
Kitagawa said the ongoing trade dispute - and potential imposition of tariffs - “adds uncertainty” to the near-term outlook for PC demand.
“While the U.S.-China trade war did not impact the PC market in the second quarter of 2019, the next phase of tariffs could have significant impact,” Kitagawa added. “Most laptops and tablets are currently manufactured in China and sales of these devices in the U.S. could face significant price increases if the punitive tariffs are imposed and vendors do not take quick action to respond.”
From a vendor perspective, Lenovo, HP and Dell accounted for 64.1 per cent of global PC shipments in the second quarter of 2019, compared with 60.7 per cent of shipments in the second quarter of 2018.
Kitagawa said these top three vendors continued to gain share in the PC market by "taking advantage of economies of scale" - Intel’s CPU supply shortage in the first half of the year also "accelerated this trend".
Specifically, Lenovo retained the top spot in the second quarter of 2019 with the fastest year-over-year growth and the largest share gain among the top vendors.
“However, it is possible that its shipments reflected some anticipation of the potential tariffs,” Kitagawa qualified. “Lenovo experienced double-digit shipment growth in all key regions except Latin America, where the overall PC market declined.”
Meanwhile, HP’s worldwide PC shipments increased 2.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2019 versus the same period last year.
“Strong business PC demand boosted HP’s growth across all key regions and offset weaker mobile PC shipments,” Kitagawa said. “Gartner does not include Chromebooks in the PC market, but HP experienced strong growth in Chromebooks shipments and will most likely remain the leader in the segment.”
Rounding off the market leaders, Dell recorded its sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2019.
“Dell’s growth trend has been the most consistent out of the top vendors over the past three years, driven by its clear focus on where the company invests,” Kitagawa added.
Regionally speaking, PC shipments in Asia Pacific declined one per cent compared with a year ago, the third consecutive quarter of shipment decline for the region.
“A large part of the decline can be attributed to a weak China market as overall sentiment was to tighten spending due to uncertainties,” Kitagawa said.
“Other Asia Pacific markets showed better results as Windows 10 migration drove growth in mature countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Business PC demand also drove strong growth for Japan in the second quarter of 2019.”