Lenovo, HP Control Q1 Global PC Sales

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Global PC sales dropped 2.4% in the first quarter. Even though the market shrank, the laptop, smartphone and tablet businesses did not suffer the same damage as they have in many quarters in the past. Two companies controlled the market: Lenovo and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ). Each had market shares just shy of 20%.

Shipments for the quarter totaled 62.2 million units, according to research firm Gartner. It was the first time since 2007, at the start of the Great Recession, that the figure has been so low.

The primary reason the figure did not show a sharp drop is that businesses continued to be strong buyers. According to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner:

While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market. Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years. However, there will also be specialized niche players with purpose-built PCs, such as gaming PCs and ruggedized laptops.

HP and Lenovo do well in this segment of the market, as does third place Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DVMT).

Lenovo’s first place was not as good as it first appears because its growth was so modest compared to last year’s first quarter. It shipped 12.37 million units, up only 1.2%. Its primary rival, HP, posted growth of 6.5% over the same period to 12.18 million units.

Dell’s shipments grew 3.4% to 9.35 million. Once-hot Chinese manufacturer Asus showed a contraction in unit sales of 14% to 4.55 million. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) grew faster than the market at a rate of 4.5% to 4.21 million units.

U.S. shipments dropped at the same rate as those worldwide, as they fell 2.4% to 12.6 million units. HP had the best quarter by far. It was the number one vendor at 3.57 million units, which surged 15.9% from the first quarter of 2016. Second place Dell watched shipments fall 4.3% to 3.24 million units. Third place Lenovo suffered a drop of 3.6% to 1.72 million.

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q17 (Thousands of Units)

Company

1Q17 Shipments

1Q17 Market Share (%)

1Q16 Shipments

1Q16 Market Share (%)

1Q17-1Q16 Growth (%)

Lenovo

12,377

19.9

12,226

19.2

1.2

HP Inc.

12,118

19.5

11,383

17.9

6.5

Dell

9,351

15.0

9,040

14.2

3.4

Asus

4,547

7.3

5,287

8.3

-14.0

Apple

4,217

6.8

4,034

6.3

4.5

Acer Group

4,190

6.7

4,266

6.7

-1.8

Others

15,380

24.7

17,486

27.4

-12.0

Total

62,180

100.0

63,721

100.0

-2.4

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.

Source: Gartner (April 2017)