The PC Market Decline Continued in Q2 2017

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 29 Comments

The PC Market Decline Continued in Q2 2017

According to industry analysts from Gartner and IDC, the PC industry continued to decline in the most recent quarter. But there are bright spots, especially for HP, which has regained its number one position and has experienced five straight quarters of growing unit sales.

PC makers sold 60.8 million PCs worldwide in Q2 2017, a decline of 3.8 percent year over year (YOY).

You may recall that last quarter, PC makers almost bottomed out, hitting a 1 percent decline YOY. There was some hope that the quarter would mark the long-awaited rebound, as PC sales have now declined for over five years.

So that didn’t happen. But it also didn’t happen this quarter. So what’s going on?

IDC says that the “traditional PC market,” as they’re suddenly calling it—or, “desktops, notebooks, and workstation,” but not tablets—was impacted somewhat by parts inventory buildup, leading to rising PC prices. And Gartner agreed, noting that “component shortages for DRAM, solid state drives (SSDs) and LCD panels had a pronounced negative impact on PC demand.”

I’m still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. But the central question is unchanged: Does the PC market bottom out at some level, apparently still unknown? Or does it continue a long, steady decline?

In the good news department, HP continues its upward trajectory, thanks, I’m sure, to the stellar PC designs that the company continues to pump out. HP sold 13.24 million PCs in the quarter, good for 21.78 percent of the market. That’s a gain of 4.75 percent, which is the strongest growth experienced by the biggest PC makers.

Lenovo was again in second place, with 12.3 million units sold, a decline of 7 percent. Lenovo controls about 20.2 percent of the worldwide PC market.

Dell, Apple, and ASUS accounted for the remainder of the top five, with ASUS experiencing a massive, double-digit decline.

Interestingly, Gartner does not include Chromebooks in its tally—it should—but it notes that “the [PC] education market was under pressure from strong Chromebook demand,” and that Chromebooks are growing, while PCs are not. Worldwide Chromebook shipments grew 38 percent in 2016, while the overall PC market declined 6 percent, it says.


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