Worldwide PC shipments continue their decline, down 2% in Q4

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"This does not mean that PCs will disappear from households", noted Kitagawa.

For the whole of 2017, shipments amounted to over 262.5 million, a 2.8 percent decline compared to the year before.

In the USA market, IDC reported the overall PC market performed below expectations in the Q4 2017, with a drop in notebook and desktop sales.

According to a new report from market tracker IDC, shipments of new PCs rose in Q4 2017 by 0.7% from Q4 of 2016, beating the forecast of a decline of 1.7%.

It says China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.

However, the major thing highlighted by the firms was PC shipment growth in China, mainly driven by the huge success of Single Day promotion and strong demand for commercial PCs.

The PC market may finally be stabilizing after years of decline: In Q4 2017, worldwide shipments of PCs such as desktops, notebooks, and workstations increased 0.7% YOY, hitting 70.6 million units, according to a new report from IDC.

With a market share of 22.5 per cent, HP Inc. retained the top spot in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 2017 even as shipments continued to decline, market research firm Gartner said on Friday. "The US market, however, saw a steep decline which offset the generally positive results in other regions".

Which companies are on top?

The US figures show that for that fourth quarter, PC shipments fell by eight percent with four out of five manufacturers showing a decline.

Kitagawa adds, "The top vendors have taken advantage of their volume operations to lower production costs, pushing small to midsize vendors out of the market".

Unlike Gartner, the data compiled by IDC states that worldwide PC shipments registered the first growth in the last six holiday seasons. Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, but shipments declined in North America.

IDC said the figures "further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak" PC market, but Gartner said its own figures prove that the PC market is still in transition and will weaken further as buyers switch their attention from budget computers to high-end machines. It also claimed that organizations were shifting their attention back to notebooks, with the tablet market in a state of flux.

IDC's Chou has more or less similar views as he mentioned that "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".

"Rather, the PC will become a more specialized, purpose-driven device". This will increase PC average selling prices (ASPs) and help profitability in the long run.