The PC market is still declining, according to research firm Gartner, while IDC found positive growth in Q4 2017 and determined it was the most stable year the market has seen since 2011. But the two agreed on the year’s top three computer makers: HP won, followed closely by Lenovo, with Dell bringing up the rear.

Both firms were also optimistic about the PC market, despite more quarters and years in the red than in the black. In short, Gartner and IDC believe computers have hit rock bottom, and a turnaround, or at least a plateau, is due.

Q4 2017

Gartner estimates worldwide PC shipments fell 2.0 percent to 71.6 million units in Q4 2017, marking the 13th quarter of PC shipment declines.

In Q4, the top six vendors were HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus, and Acer. As you can see in the chart below, Gartner found that Lenovo, Asus, and Acer experienced decreases in PC shipments, while HP, Apple, and Dell grew. The rest of the market was down 10.3 percent.

Meanwhile, IDC estimates worldwide PC shipments inched upwards 0.7 percent to 70.6 million units in the fourth quarter. The top six vendors in IDC’s results were HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus, and Acer.

IDC agrees with Gartner on the trajectory of the five companies, except for Lenovo, which it estimates was flat. The rest of the market was down 2.2 percent. The exact numbers, for your perusal:

2017

Gartner found that 2017 was the sixth year of annual declines. The trio of companies that grew and the trio that shrank were the same for the year as for the previous quarter:

IDC’s Q4 and full year results were also mirrored, save for Lenovo, which IDC found declined in 2017, bringing the full year in line with Gartner’s findings:

Gartner found that worldwide PC shipments totaled 262.5 million units in 2017, a 2.8 percent decrease from 2016. The PC industry continues to consolidate, Gartner points out. “The top vendors have taken advantage of their volume operations to lower production costs, pushing small to midsize vendors out of the market,” Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement.

IDC found that the PC market only shrank 0.2 percent to 259.5 million units but cautioned that a return to growth won’t be easy.

“The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the difficult environment in retail and consumer PCs,” IDC research manager Jay Chou said in a statement. “Enticed by a growing array of products that promise all-day battery life, high portability, and address emerging use cases that require more compute power, pockets of the consumer base are taking a serious look at these revamped PCs. However, the overall PC market remains a challenging one.”