Traditional PC Market Fares Slightly Better Than Expectations in 2Q17
Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 60.5 million units in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17), posting a year-on-year decline of 3.3%, according to IDC. The results tilted just above the previous forecast that called for a decline of 3.9%, and hewed to the expectation that unlike past seasonal patterns of significant positive sequential growth, second quarter volume showed only a modest uptick from the first quarter.
Whereas one factor affecting shipments during the past several quarters was an inventory buildup caused by shortages of key components such as SSD (Solid State Drive), the second quarter operated under less harsh constraints, though in some instances component shortages still played a role in driving shipment dynamics. Moreover, as expected, the increased bill of materials (BOM) cost due to the shortage also began to impact the final price of systems, which was also factored into IDC's original assumption of inhibiting shipments.
From a geographic perspective, mature markets generally outperformed emerging markets, with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America in particular showing weakness, though Latin America did outperform IDC's original forecast. The U.S. posted just a slight decline but otherwise also pulled ahead of forecast in part due to Chromebook activity. Japan again posted positive growth, in part against the backdrop of tough market conditions in 2015 through the first half of 2016.
The U.S. traditional PC market continued to hold in comparison to other regions. Pricing pressures brought on by currency weakness have not affected the aggregate product mix in the U.S. as it has in other regions. Chromebooks remained a source of significant volume growth in the education-buying mid-quarters. Inventory preparation and deployment for government projects, particularly around Windows 10 migration, also kept commercial volumes afloat.
The EMEA traditional PC market showed further stability in 2Q17, primarily driven by the solid performance of notebook sales. An acceleration in mobility adoption was a major contributor to the positive notebook results, exceeding IDC's expectations. However, desktop sales performed in line with forecast.
The market in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region returned negative results this quarter, slightly below IDC's expectations. GST reform in India had an adverse impact on shipments in the country, with channel players placing cautious orders amid uncertainty in the market, while the anticipated ELCOT education tender has been postponed due to legal issues surrounding execution of the project. In China, the market is expected to return softer results, as consumer demand slowed and the industry faces high inventory levels.
HP retained the top spot for the second quarter in a row. The vendor hit a new high mark for market share at nearly 23%, with aggressive growth in virtually all regions. Lenovo held the second position but shrank 5.7% globally. The vendor saw significant slowing in North America but still managed to grow its notebook business overall.
Dell took the third position, growing 3.7% year over year, and continuing its positive growth in every region with strong notebook volume. Apple kept the fourth position and grew 1.7% year over year while ASUS regained the fifth position, overtaking Acer.
Top 5 Vendors, PC Shipments, Second Quarter 2017 (Preliminary)
2Q17 Market Share
2Q16 Market Share