The PC market has seen its first growth quarter in six years, according to research firm Gartner. The streak is over: Gartner found PC shipments were up globally in Q2 2018, the first quarter of year-over-year global PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.
Gartner estimates that worldwide PC shipments grew 1.4 percent to 62.1 million units in Q2 2018. The top five vendors were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Acer. Lenovo in particular saw big gains (its highest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015), although that’s largely due in part to the inclusion of units from its joint venture with Fujitsu.
As you can see in the chart below, Gartner found that all companies in the top five experienced increases in PC shipments. The rest of the market was, however, down 12.9 percent.
The results show that Lenovo and HP are still neck and neck, with Dell in a not-too-distant third. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of the last few quarters: HP has been largely on an upward trend, Lenovo has been slipping (until this recent Fujitsu deal), and Dell has been growing the fastest, eager to blow past both. Which one comes out on top in the next few quarters will apparently depend on who can cater to businesses the best.
“PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment,” Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement. “In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behavior, still remains, and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.”
While this is a positive result for the PC industry, especially as it is the first one in more than half a decade, nobody should be sighing in relief. The dependence on businesses means PC momentum will weaken when corporations largely finish upgrading to Windows 10, something Gartner estimates will happen in two years.
Update: IDC is also reporting a growth in shipments, specifically 2.7 percent to 62.3 million units. The top five vendors, according to IDC, were the same as for Gartner, with the only difference being HP’s slight lead over Lenovo.