Published: July 20th, 2018

The PC market has grown for the first time in years, with shipments increasing worldwide during the second quarter of 2018, Gartner says.

That’s a significant change from the consultation firm’s usual PC shipments report, which has charted steady declines since 2012.

Between April and June 2018, however, total PC shipments totaled 62.1 million units, according to the company’s latest shipment report – an increase of 1.4 per cent globally compared to the same period last year.

In fact, the first quarter of 2018 saw a year-over-year decline of 1.4 per cent.

According to the report, Lenovo was the quarterly leader in global shipments, with an increase of 10.5 per cent year-over-year. Gartner attributed this growth to Lenovo’s acquisition of Fujitsu’s PC business. With this joint venture, Lenovo is now virtually tied with HP Inc. for number of units shipped globally.

“All of the top five PC vendors experienced an increase in worldwide PC shipments in the quarter,” the report says.

Worldwide PC vendor shipments April-June 2018. 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. Source: Gartner

According to the report HP Inc. had its third consecutive quarter of growth in PC shipments with an increase from last year of 6.1 percent worldwide. And while it saw a small U.S. decline of 0.6 percent, it remains the leading vendor in the U.S. market.

Coming in at a close second is Dell, which increased its growth by 7.2 percent this year, which the report attributes to a “strong focus on growth areas, especially in the commercial segment, as well as cutting off unprofitable businesses.”

This apparent resurgent demand for PCs was driven by the business market rather than consumer market, which is still experiencing a decline, said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in the report. She also noted that in the U.S. market, “PC demand was particularly strong among the public sector, as the second quarter is typically PC buying season among government and education buyers.”

In the consumer space, the market structure which has fundamentally changed PC user behaviour still remains, and continues to impact market growth,” Kitagawa said.

“Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC,” she said.

Despite this global increase in shipments she also warns that even business market demand will weaken in the next couple years “when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes.”