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Global PC Shipments Grow For First Time Since 2011

The PC market saw over 70 million units shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2019 – the industry’s third consecutive quarter of sales growth – ending its declining sales business and recording consistent, positive growth for the first time in eight years.

Released by market research firms IDC and Gartner, the top three spots as far as global shipment figures go are Lenovo, HP and Dell.

Lenovo had 64.768 million PC shipments, just ahead of HP who had 63.908 million, while Dell came in third with 46.545 million. Rounding out the top five is Apple in at fourth with 17.684 million and Acer was fifth with 17.029 million.

Looking at the industry as a whole, traditional PC volumes grew by nearly 5% globally in the fourth quarter of 2019 – the highest for a single quarter in four years, while total shipments for 2019 grew by 2.7%.

The commercial sector also saw momentum due to companies transitioning their PCs to Windows 10 before the end of Windows 7 support this month.

“The PC market experienced growth for the first time since 2011, driven by vibrant business demand for Windows 10 upgrades,” Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner, told The Wall Street Journal.

“We expect this growth to continue through this year even after Windows 7 support comes to an end this month, as many businesses in emerging regions such as China, Eurasia and the emerging Asia/Pacific have not yet upgraded.”

“This past year was a wild one in the PC world. While market challenges persist, 2019 showed clearly that demand for traditional desktops, workstations and laptops still exists even with the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices,” added Ryan Reith, program vice-president at IDC.

Looking at the negatives, both research firms believe the PC market could face certain obstacles in the years ahead.

“Despite the positivity surrounding 2019, the next 12 to 18 months will be challenging for traditional PCs as the majority of Windows 10 upgrades will be in the rearview mirror and lingering concerns around component shortages and trade negotiations get ironed out,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“Although new technologies such as 5G and dual- and folding-screen devices along with an uptake in gaming PCs will provide an uplift, these will take some time to coalesce.”

And while Gartner is forecasting a continuous drop in the consumer PC market over the next five years, they do believe that growth in this space could be sustained through more innovative products.

“We’ve already started to see this through the foldable laptops introduced at CES this past week along with initiatives that make PCs as easy as smartphones by allowing users to always be connected and ensuring a worry-free battery life,” Kitagawa said.

“Such innovations that change user behaviour and create new product segments are something to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond.”

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