Gartner and IDC report first growth in PC shipments in six years

After a long period of slow declines in shipments, it looks like the PC might have temporarily arrested its slide. Research firms Gartner and IDC have released their latest reports on the state of the personal-computing market, and both suggest the number of PCs shipped grew slightly for the first time in six years.

For its part, Gartner says PC makers shipped 62.1 million units last quarter, up 1.4% from a year ago. That's not much, but it's something. Gartner warns that this reprieve may be temporary, as it says regular folk are still undertaking the move to mobile devices that have led to the PC's long decline to begin with.

The bright spot comes from sales to businesses. Gartner says that after businesses work through the Windows 10 upgrade cycle in a couple of years, this brief resurgence in shipments will fade and “momentum will weaken” again.

IDC has a rosier outlook for shipments, possibly thanks to the fact that it tracks a more inclusive slice of personal-computing devices than Gartner does. The firm's preliminary results suggest shipments of the devices it tracks grew 2.7% year-on-year to 62.3 million units, and it agrees with Gartner's assessment that businesses are behind the spike in the numbers. IDC notes that beyond business sales, it saw growth in Chrome OS devices, premium notebooks, and gaming PCs.

Neither firm provides detailed outlooks for the PC market in their public news releases, but if past consumer behavior serves as a good indicator of the future, these small bright spots are likely to be just that in the broader picture of the PC market's decline. Still, the industry needs all the good news it can get.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    So it seems PC shipments have been.. er.. Ryzen??

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    And yet DRAM prices are still through the stratosphere.

      • Pwnstar
      • 2 years ago

      PCs aren’t the only devices that use DRAM.

      Plus, there’s collusion going on.

    • blastdoor
    • 2 years ago

    Apple continues to hold on to its marketshare and occasionally eek out a little gain.

    I wonder what would happen if they actually kept their entire product line up to date.

      • tacitust
      • 2 years ago

      Not much, probably. The Apple users I know tend to stick with their current laptops until they start falling apart, which with Apple laptops, tends to take a long time.

    • strangerguy
    • 2 years ago

    Obviously PCs are doing badly for the past few years is due to the lack of RGB LEDs everywhere. *sarcasm*.

    If you aren’t a professional that needs lotsa cores and already got the current gen GPUs 2 years ago there is really nothing worth buying new besides the ~$250 2TB SSDs.

    • davidbowser
    • 2 years ago

    disclaimer – I am the Google

    Chrome OS device sales are mostly in the Education market, but are picking up in Healthcare and Public Sector (government agencies). Healthcare and gov have a LOT of task workers and the many of the apps they use are (finally) web-based.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      I got my parents CB14’s. It’s been great that they very nearly can’t get themselves in trouble on them.

        • blastdoor
        • 2 years ago

        Chrome books block Facebook now?

    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

      • Leader952
      • 2 years ago

      Death by a thousand cuts.

      Those cuts will continue as both IDC and Gartner state.

      [quote<]The bright spot comes from sales to businesses. Gartner says that after businesses work through the Windows 10 upgrade cycle in a couple of years, this brief resurgence in shipments will fade and "momentum will weaken" again.[/quote<] I have not purchased a new PC since 2007 which was my first personal laptop. I now buy exclusively used workstations on eBay that come off business leases. I keep a few for myself and either strip the parts for resale or upgrade the systems and then sell them. I cleared $10,388 in profit in 2017 doing just that.

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        What sort of hourly rate does that work out to?

          • Leader952
          • 2 years ago

          I’m retired so it is just extra income. I also resell other items where I utilize my EE skill set.

          If I had to guess I put in about 2 hour a day for eBay both buying (looking at new listings and setting up snipes) and selling (listing, packing, shipping).

          It is fun to do and I can take time off from selling whenever I want.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 2 years ago

            I think its commendable to participate in the recycling economy.

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