PC market saw first holiday quarter growth in six years, IDC says

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There was PC shipment growth in Asia Pacific, Japan and Latin America.

Shipments for the full year still declined slightly, dropping by 0.2 percent.

According to a new report from market tracker IDC, shipments of new PCs rose in Q4 2017 by 0.7% from Q4 of 2016, beating the forecast of a decline of 1.7%. "There was only a moderate shipment decline in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)", Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

PC shipments reached almost 260 million in 2017, representing a YOY decline of 0.2% and the most stable year for the market since 2011. This independent research firm highlighted a very interesting fact that in the last six or seven years, the PC industry has consolidated heavily.

The slight difference in shipment figures could be explained by IDC including Chromebook shipments and Gartner excluding them - however, the analysts have differing views of the PC market's state in general.

As the PC market has been on a decline in recent years, this marks the first growth for the holiday quarter in six years, IDC says.

IDC said the figures "further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak" PC market, but Gartner said its own figures prove that the PC market is still in transition and will weaken further as buyers switch their attention from budget computers to high-end machines. Unlike IDC, Gartner said Q4 2017 marked the thirteenth consecutive quarterly decline for the PC market. Annual shipments checked in at 260 million units, IDC says, which is down 5.7 percent compared to their year-ago figures. The firms agree that HP Inc.

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In every global measurement from both IDC and Gartner, HPI came out on top, with Lenovo second, Dell third and Apple fourth. Notably, Asus and Acer tied for the fifth spot, according to Gartner as well as IDC.

Across the year as a whole, Apple increased its worldwide market share from 7.1% to 7.6%, remaining in fourth place behind HP, Lenovo and Dell. "However, the growing popularity of other mobile form factors continued to have a dampening effect and led the overall U.S. PC market to perform below expectations". Per Gartner, this was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment growth for the company in the US market.

By region, The United States saw a decline in PC shipments, including a drop in both desktop and notebook sales.

"However, the US market saw a steep decline, which offset the generally positive results in other regions".

Premium laptops and 2-in-1 devices were also common at the show this year, indicating that companies are indeed returning their energy to the notebook market to appeal to professionals, and expanding their slim, convertible, and gaming system offerings, as IDC noted in the report.

However, the major thing highlighted by the firms was PC shipment growth in China, mainly driven by the huge success of Single Day promotion and strong demand for commercial PCs.

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