Gartner's latest data show PC shipments continuing to slide

Remember about six months ago when we thought the PC market might have stabilized? Yeah, maybe not so much. That report from a while back came from IDC, but now Gartner posted preliminary results from its Q2 2017 analysis of the PC industry. The new data shows that 4.3% fewer units were shipped during last quarter versus the same time last year. The final worldwide tally comes to 61.1 million units shipped, compared to 63.9 million for the same period in 2016. The company posits that high system prices due to component shortages were the largest cause for the slump.

HP was once again top dog last quarter, selling some 12.7 million PCs. That puts the company at a 20.8% share of the market, a figure that actually represents a 3.3% increase over last year's 12.3 million sales. Lenovo comes up right behind with 12.2 million and a 19.9% share, followed by Dell with 9.6 million and 15.6% share. The A-team is duking it out for fourth place: Apple has 6.9% of shipments, Asus sits with 6.6%, and Acer holds 6.3% of market share.

Overall, Q2 2017 is the eleventh straight quarter of declining shipments for the PC market. Gartner points out some of the more obvious factors for the continued drop, like the aforementioned component shortage as well as the continued encroachment of Chromebooks on the PC's territory. The analysis firm points out that last year, Chromebook shipments grew by a whopping 38% worldwide while the PC market declined by 6%. No doubt progressive improvements in users' ability to keep a smartphone as their primary "PC" played a factor as well.

Given the state of the market, the increased focus on gaming gear from virtually every hardware vendor makes a lot of sense. PC gaming hardware saw its highest sales figures ever last year, and so far it looks like that record will be beaten again this year. As our buddies at PC Perspective reported, Dell's SVP of Consumer Product Marketing expects that demand for gaming hardware will grow over the next five years even as the rest of the market continues to shrink. Let's hope he's right—I don't even remember my Xbox Live login info anymore.

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