​Market optimism remains despite seven quarters of PC shipments decline

​Market optimism remains despite seven quarters of PC shipments decline

Is there still a chance to have potential inventory built?

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 64.3 million units in the second quarter of 2016, representing a 5.2 percent decline from the second quarter of 2015.

According to preliminary results by Gartner, this was the seventh consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, despite the market showing some signs of improvement.

“One of the ongoing problems in the PC market has been the price hike in selected regions due to the weakening local currency against the U.S. dollar,” Gartner Principal Analyst, Mikako Kitagawa, said.

“The price issue has impacted the EMEA and Latin America regions for the past year. However, PC shipment declines became rather modest in the second quarter compared with previous quarters, which suggests a fading currency impact.

“All regions except North America experienced a PC shipment decline.”

Kitagawa said Lenovo maintained the no. 1 position in worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2016, despite a 2.2 percent decline in units from the same period last year.

According to Kitagawa, this was the fifth consecutive quarter of global PC shipment declines for Lenovo, with the company experiencing double-digit growth in the U.S. mobile PC market, despite EMEA continuing to be a challenge due to inventory build during the quarter.

In Asia/Pacific, Lenovo's shipments declined, but the decline was less than the overall average in the region.

Meanwhile, HP Inc. returned to positive growth in the second quarter of 2016 after four consecutive quarters of shipment decline.

“HP Inc. resolved its inventory buildup, which had slowed its sell-in shipments,” Kitagawa added. “HP Inc. did well in EMEA to maintain the top position, but it was not able to surpass Dell in the U.S.”

On the topic of Dell, Kitagawa said the tech giant grew faster than the industry average in all regions in second quarter of 2016.

“Dell did especially well in the U.S., Latin America and Japan markets,” Kitagawa added. “Mobile PC shipments grew across all regions except EMEA, while its desktop PC shipments declined in most regions.”

In addition, Kitagawa said Asus, Apple and Acer are battling it out for the fourth position in worldwide PC shipments for the second quarter of 2016, as preliminary results get finalised.

“While vendors and channels generally have more optimistic expectations of PC sales compared with the past, there is still a chance to have a potential inventory built,” Kitagawa added.

“This will depend on how PC market demand picks up in the second half of this year for both the business and consumer segments.

“The second and third quarter are typically PC buying season for the U.S. public sectors. Positive second-quarter results could suggest healthy PC sales activities among the public sectors.

“There is an opportunity for a Windows 10 refresh among businesses, which we expect to see more toward the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017.”

Regionally speaking, Asia/Pacific PC shipments totalled 22.7 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 6.3 percent decline from the second quarter of 2015.

With a stagnant economy in the region, Kitagawa said it put pressure on discretionary spending, and smartphones ranked as a higher priority to purchase than PCs.

“There were election activities in Australia, the Philippines and South Korea, which created a lull in IT spending from the government sector,” Kitagawa added.

“PC shipments in China declined 6.4 percent. Business confidence is weak in China, and this affects consumer buying patterns.”

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