Global PC Shipments Remain Stagnant While HP Keeps Top Spot

(Bloomberg) -- Personal-computer shipments held steady during the first quarter, supported by business sales, while higher-end notebooks helped slow consumers’ continued move to smartphones and smaller touchscreen devices.

Worldwide PC deliveries were unchanged in the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier, and HP Inc. again led sales in the stagnant industry, market analyst IDC said Wednesday in a report. In a separate report, research firm Gartner Inc. said it found global shipments declined 1.4 percent in the period.

PC manufacturers including HP, Lenovo Group Ltd. and Dell Technologies Inc. shipped 60.4 million notebooks, desktops and workstations in the period ended March 31. IDC had projected shipments would drop by 1.5 percent from a year earlier, so the results were better than expected. Still, only two of the top five vendors sold more units in the period than a year earlier, as most struggle to compete against smartphones and tablets.

“The market is continuing on a resilient path which should see modest commercial momentum through 2020,” Jay Chou, a research manager with IDC, said in a statement.

Demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa showed stable growth, while the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, disappointed with lower-than-expected shipments.

Gartner said it found that worldwide PC shipments fell for the 14th consecutive quarter. Much of the decline was attributed to weaker demand in China, where deliveries dropped 5.7 percent in the period from a year earlier.

Demand for premium laptops among consumers and businesses helped to support shipments, as did gaming systems, according to IDC.

HP notched its eighth-consecutive quarter of unit growth, and maintained its status as the world’s No. 1 PC maker. The Palo Alto, California-based company captured almost 23 percent of the global market, selling 13.7 million computers. HP has continued to grow more than the industry, jumping 4.3 percent in the period from a year earlier. Chinese competitor Lenovo saw no sales growth, and had just more than 20 percent of the market.

Dell saw the greatest resurgence of all major vendors, boosting shipments by 6.4 percent in the quarter versus a year earlier. The Round Rock, Texas-based company gained almost 17 percent of the global market -- enough to retain its third-place spot in the rankings.

Dell may have been helped by growing demand for gaming computers, with its Alienware line of products targeted to video game players.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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