PC Market Barely Grew But Still Beat Dismal Expectations

Not too long ago, almost every annual or quarterly tech market report would come with some bad news or prophecy. The PC market is dead or is at least dying, made obsolete by smartphones and even tablets (which are now also dying). And yet, the PC market still exists and has even grown just a bit last quarter. This quarter saw flat growth or even a decline but analysts now see and agree: the PC ain't no dinosaur on the verge of extinction.

The numbers differ depending on which market analyst you ask. For IDC, the traditional PC market didn't grow at all and, in fact, declined by 0.9% compared to the same quarter in 2017. But considering the forecast was supposed to be a 3.0% decline, the PC market definitely showed them.

Gartner is a bit more hopeful. The PC market did grow but only by 0.1% year-on-year. The research firm credits this flat but steady growth to the Windows 10 upgrade cycle and it expects it to continue at least until 2020. Like IDC, it cites the Intel CPU shortage which may affect future sales. For now, though, the market is safe.

Both IDC and Gartner agree on who the top three PC makers are. Lenovo rises at the top, helped by its joint venture with Fujitsu. HP and Dell follow, their shipments boosted by business computers. The two, however, put Apple and Acer in different positions, though Apple could make its lead clear once sales of the new MacBooks switch into full gear.

It should be noted that both IDC and Gartner are only counting "traditional" PCs, including desktops and notebooks. While Gartner does include "ultramobile premiums" like the Microsoft Surface, IDC excludes detachable and tablets. With the computing landscape shifting towards multi-form computers, it might be time for these to update their metrics as well.