PC shipments continue to fall but Dell bucks the trend
Worldwide PC shipments continued to decline for the fifth year in row with fourth quarter of 2016 registering sales of 72.6 million, down 3.7% from the same period of year previous to last.
For the full year 2016, PC shipments declined by 6.2% to a total of 269.7 million units.
Out of the major global PC-makers, Lenovo was on top despite a low 1.6% growth during the quarter. It's PC shipments grew to 15.7 million units in fourth quarter of 2016 from 15.5 million units in the same quarter last year. Its market share increased to 21.7%.
Hewlett Packard (HP) too had a good quarter as it posted a 4.3% growth in its PC sales. It has 20.4% market share and its sales during the quarter rose to 14.8 million units in Q4 2016 from 14.2 million units in Q4 2015.
HP remained in the second position, and it has recorded three consecutive quarters of shipment growth. HP secured the top position in PC shipments in the US and EMEA, growing faster than the regional average.
The highest growth in PC shipments was seen from Dell which posted 5.4% growth during the quarter. Dell's PC shipments increased to 10.7 million units in Q4 this year from 10.1 million units in the corresponding quarter last year. It now has a 14.8% market share.
Asus, however, reported 8.5% drop in PC shipments in Q4,
"Stagnation in the PC market continued into the fourth quarter of 2016 as holiday sales were generally weak due to the fundamental change in PC buying behavior,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
Kitagawa said that although the overall PC market will see stagnation, there are growth opportunities within the market, such as the engaged PC user market, the business market and gaming. However, these growth areas will not prevent the overall decline of the PC market, at least in the next year.
"The broad PC market has been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth. There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks, as well as technology improvements, such as longer battery life. This end of the market has grown fast, led by engaged PC users who put high priority on PCs. However, the market driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market growth," he said.
According to Gartner's preliminary worldwide PC shipment estimates for 2016, Dell is the only company that is expected to see a growth. Gartner said that it expects Dell's PC sales to rise 2.6% while PC sales for Lenovo, HP, Asus, Apple, Acer is expected to fall -2.4%, 0.2%, -2.6%-8.7%, -9.9%, respectively.