PC Market Drops, But Not As Much As Expected

Shipments of personal computers were down again during the second quarter found two prominent online research companies, but the drops were not as much as during other recent quarters.

Research firm International Data Corp (IDC) announced that shipments dropped by 4.5% for the quarter ending in June, which was better than a decline of 7.4% it projected. At the same time, Gartner Inc estimated that shipments were lower by 5.2% than the same quarter one year ago.

The global PC industry has struggled with a drop in demand for a number of years due to issues including the shift by consumers to spending on smartphones.

During the second quarter, shipments fell for the seventh straight three-month period. IDC estimated shipments during the first quarter dropped by 11.5% while Gartner put that decline at just over 9.5% for the same period that ended during March.

There were more signs that were positive during the second three months of 2016. Both companies said that the shipments had increased across the U.S. market.

Gartner does not include the laptops known as Chromebooks that run Google operating software. It put the increase in shipments for the U.S. at 1.4%.

At the same time, IDC, which includes Chromebooks, cited demand for back to school for the portable as an important factor in its growth estimate of 4.9% for the market in the U.S.

Each of the research firms differed with the performance of the largest vendors.

Gartner said that Dell’s global shipments had increased by 3.1%, while HP’s dropped by 1.8%. Dell’s status as a private business allowed it to compete more aggressively in the industry said a Gartner analyst.

At the same time, by contrast, HP needed to satisfy the analysts on Wall Street who are not happy with sales from low margins for PCs.

Researchers said that Dell being private allows them to do what they want, making their PCs a cash cow.

By contrast, IDC estimated that global shipments for HP increased by 5.1% in comparison to an increase by Dell of just 4.2%.

Both companies estimated that the shipments by China based Lenovo; the world’s No. 1 vendor had declined by just over 2%.

At the same time, Apple suffered due to its lack of new models in its Mac line. Apple’s shipments were put by Gartner at a 4.9% drop, while it was estimated by IDC that Apple’s PC sales were down 8.3%.