Tue, Jan 16, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Demand for PCs rises for the first time in six years

Bloomberg

Demand for PCs rose over the holiday season for the first time in six years, buoyed by commercial upgrades and pockets of improving consumer demand.

Although shipments declined slightly overall last year, it still marked the most stable year the market has seen since 2011, International Data Corp (IDC) said in a report on Thursday last week.

PC manufacturers shipped 70.6 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 70.1 million a year earlier, beating IDC’s own forecast for a 1.7 percent decline.

The increase, which followed a 0.6 percent gain the prior quarter, paints a modestly rosier picture for PC makers who are struggling to compete against smartphones and tablets.

The global market shrank 3 percent in the second quarter of last year.

“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,” IDC research manager Jay Chou said in the statement.

While demand continued to gain in Europe and the Middle East, US shipments declined as notebook and desktop sales receded, showing mobile devices still have a strong hold on US customers.

HP Inc widened its lead as the top global supplier, with a 23.5 percent share of the market, IDC said.

The company shipped 16.6 million PCs, an 8.3 percent climb from a year earlier.

Shipments by China’s largest PC maker, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), were flat.

The company forfeited its global top spot to HP last year.

Dell Inc’s shipments rose 0.7 percent.

The report comes amid a period of stabilization within the PC market that pushed industry players’ revenue higher over past year.

HP’s sales surged 11 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, while Lenovo posted its strongest revenue growth in two years.

Sales of desktop and laptop computers have been in a rut as smartphones and tablets offer consumers a swifter, on-the-go experience, but sleeker versions of PCs with upgraded software are expected to capture buyers looking to replace their aging hardware.

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