PC Sales Grow For The First Time In Six Years

Growth at last
Lenovo desktop PC
(Photo: Lenovo)

Shipments of PCs have grown for the first time in six years, an indicator that might herald further growth in 2019.

Research and advisory firms Gartner and IDC agree that growth did occur but have come up with contrasting numbers resulting from different ways of tracking shipment growth. IDC said the PC market grew in the second quarter of 2018 by 2.7 percent. On the other hand, Gartner said this growth was a more tepid 1.4 percent. But they agree this is the first year-on-year PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.

Three out of four PCs in the second quarter of 2018 were shipped by the top five PC vendors: Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple and Acer. The top five will continue to dominate the market since PC sales seem to be stabilizing after years of decline,

Google Chromebooks, which dominates the lucrative K-12 education market, did help boost PC growth last year. Gartner said some of this growth also comes from regular Windows PCs or Macs.

Windows 10 business PCs also helped drive some of the growth. "PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment," said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner principal analyst.

He warned, however, that business segment PC momentum will weaken in two years when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes.

IDC said the business-driven refresh cycle is helping move sales. "Although traditional PCs may not be the default device for many usage scenarios, the market continues to show pockets of resiliency as PC usage experience evolves and improves," noted Jay Chou, IDC research manager.

"Even certain types of desktops are seeing growth amid this business-driven refresh cycle."

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