HP and Dell grow during a brutal Q2 PC market
Major vendors like Lenovo and Apple saw shipments stagnate
The second quarter was another bruising period for the PC market as global shipments sunk to their lowest level in a decade and the US market took a nearly 6% nosedive, according to research firm Gartner.
The declines are the result of increased prices driven by shortages in memory, SSD and display components, Gartner said.
But while major vendors like Lenovo and Apple saw shipments stagnate or decline, HP Inc managed to consolidate share, boosting shipments in the US and globally.
Dell, too, registered shipment growth in the US and global markets. HP's global shipment increase was enough to boot Lenovo from the worldwide top spot in the second quarter, and its 6.5% increase in US shipments were enough to keep it ahead of Dell in the race to dominate that large and important market.
"Higher PC prices due to the impact of component shortages for DRAM, solid state drives (SSDs) and LCD panels had a pronounced negative impact on PC demand in the second quarter of 2017," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "The approach to higher component costs varied by vendor. Some decided to absorb the component price hike without raising the final price of their devices, while other vendors transferred the costs to the end-user price."
However, in the business segment, vendors could not increase the price too quickly, especially in large enterprises where the price is typically locked in based on the contract, which often run through the quarter or even the year, Kitagawa said.
Kitagawa added that: "In the consumer market, the price hike has a greater impact as buying habits are more sensitive to price increases. Many consumers are willing to postpone their purchases until the price pressure eases."
HP also registered the biggest gains in the worldwide PC market during the second quarter, shipping 12.69m units and knocking Lenovo off its perch atop the global market. HP's total represented 3.3% year-over-year growth and gave the vendor 20.8% global market share. Dell was the only other major PC vendor to notch global growth in the second quarter, shipping 9.55m units, a 1.4% year-over-year increase, and finishing the quarter with 15.6% market share.
Lenovo's fall from the global top spot in PC shipments was the result of an 8.4% decline in shipments to 12.18m units. The China-based manufacturer finished the quarter with 19.9% global market share. Apple's global shipment total was essentially flat year over year, at 4.23m units.
Overall, top vendors shipped 61.1m PCs globally in the second quarter. That's down from 63.87m units in the same period a year ago, and represents the lowest quarterly volume since 2007, according to Gartner. Shipments have fallen for 11 consecutive quarters, Gartner said.