PC Market Declines Slightly in First Half of 2019
Performance and experience are absolutely key for success in the global consumer PC market, according to GfK. Demand is being driven by gaming PCs and thin and light lifestyle notebooks with sophisticated designs.
Even if the global market for PCs declined slightly in the first half of 2019 (-1.5 percent to €23.2 billion) the turnover for mobile PCs grew by 1 percent, reaching nearly €18 billion. On the other hand, desktops and AIOs fell by 10 percent in value and generated €5.3 billion.
The global market for consumer PCs faced a major challenge in the fourth quarter of 2018 caused by a processor supply shortage. Its effects are still being felt in 2019, adding pressure to the global PC market. Consequently, the demand for mobile PCs declined by 5 percent in units in the first half year of 2019, which translates in 27.5 million mobile PCs sold on the consumer market. Only the Chinese market managed to grow (+2 percent in unit terms), while Western Europe and APAC (excl. China) declined by 6 percent in unit sales.
However, due to the importance of performance and lifestyle/premium for the consumers, reflected in higher price points, the market for notebooks increased by 1 percent in euro to reach nearly €18 billion. China’s increase of 7 percent contributed the most to that growth, while Western Europe fell by 1 percent.
After several challenging years, media tablets (tablets with a mobile OS) performed well, growing by 3 percent in value in the first half of 2019. Media tablets larger than 9” continued their robust growth and increased by 12 percent. On the desktop/AIO side, the sales of desktops dipped by 11 percent in value, while AIOs decreased by 7 percent from January to June 2019, generating 5.3 billion euro turnover in total.
After massive growth, the gaming industry has matured, and now represents an entire ecosystem. The gaming hardware market recorded a 16 percent increase year-on-year to reach over €5.4 billion turnover (global coverage excl. North America). The demand for gaming OEM desktops 2019 was lower (-4 percent) mainly due to a decline in China as well as a slowdown in EMEA. Gaming OEM notebooks continued their success story and grew by 13 percent, generating €3.1 billion turnover.
Gaming monitors were the fastest growing segment with an increase of 42 percent and a turnover reaching €1 billion for the first six months of the year. Gaming gear recorded single-digit growth. The trend for mobile PCs to become thinner and lighter continues. More than half (56 percent) of all notebooks sold between January and June 2019 were thinner than 21mm.
Those below 18mm account for nearly every third notebook on the market. The share of notebooks between 1 and 1.8kg rose steadily, reaching over 53 percent in unit terms. Laptops with display sizes between 13” and 14” gained further momentum on the B2C market and accounted for 46 percent of all notebooks sold.
Around 38 percent of consumers said they have bought a new notebook for educational reasons. This number rose to 44 percent during the back-to-school period, underlying the importance of understanding which consumer needs should be met and when. At the same time, 67 percent of the consumers point out the product features as the most important driver when choosing a notebook.
As part of the massive popularity of video platforms and social media, video/photo editing and content creation have proliferated. This trend can also be seen on the PC side in dedicated products with an explicit focus on content creation. Their scope goes even further to address the professional needs of designers, photographers and creative professionals.