Wed, Jan 15, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Global PC shipments rebound last year after seven years of contraction

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

Global PC shipments last year reached 266.69 million units, growing 2.7 percent year-on-year and ending seven consecutive years of contraction, US market research and consulting firm International Data Corp (IDC) said in a report on Monday.

The growth was mainly driven by shipments last quarter, which increased by 4.8 percent year-on-year to 71.78 million units, the highest in four years, thanks to the Christmas holiday season and the transition of PCs to Windows 10, as businesses anticipated the end of support for Windows 7, the report said.

Microsoft Corp ceased to support Windows 7 from yesterday.

Easing US-China trade tensions along with other industry drivers further helped boost PC shipments in the fourth quarter of last year, the report added.

Despite a weak start, the global PC market witnessed year-on-year growth in sales over the past three quarters, IDC data showed.

As a result, the world’s top three PC vendors — China’s Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) and the US’ HP Inc — have consolidated their hold on the PC market, with a combined share of 65.4 percent last year, up from 63.2 percent in 2018, the report said.

In terms of overall PC shipments, Apple Inc followed in fourth place with its global market share declining year-on-year to 6.6 percent, while Taiwan-based Acer Inc (宏碁) followed in fifth place with its share declining to 6.1 percent.

The IDC report did not cover PC shipments by Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), but US advisory firm Gartner Inc reported preliminary results for the firm showing that it trailed behind its peers with only a 5.5 percent market share.

Although concerns over the supply of central processing units (CPUs) by Intel Corp lingered on last year, they have been partially assuaged by the market’s adoption of CPUs from Advanced Micro Devices Inc, the report said.

“The market will still have its challenges ahead, but last year was a clear sign that PC demand is still there, despite the continued insurgence of emerging form factors and the demand for mobile computing,” IDC mobile device program vice president Ryan Reith said in the report.

The next 12 to 18 months should be difficult for traditional PC shippers, as upgrades to Windows 10 are in the rearview mirror, but the deployment of new technologies, such as 5G and devices with dual or folding screens, are yet to be fully reflected in market demand, IDC research manager Jitesh Ubrani said.

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