Both Gartner and IDC released news about the growth of the PC market yesterday. The market research titans tallied Q2 2018 PC shipments and agree that quantities have increased to deliver the best quarter for personal-computer shipments in more than six years. Gartner and IDC also broadly agree on the impetus for the rise; Windows 10 was the most important driver of new sales, particularly among businesses.
Gartner says the most recent quarter of 2018 showed the first year-on-year gains since Q1 2012. All regions experience some growth, says the research firm, which must be reassuring as it provides a solid foundation for the increase in a way. However, this is evidence of market stability rather than a recovery, for now, says Gartner.
Broadly businesses were the driving force behind the gains as they adopted Windows 10. It is foreseen that this driving force will keep the wheels of industry nicely oiled for at least two more years.
Consumer demand remained weak, and took away from the headline increase of 1.4 per cent growth year on year. The reasoning behind continued consumer PC weakness is the dominance and ubiquity of smartphones.
IDC's figures were a bit stronger than those quoted above. It said that PC shipments were up 2.7 per cent year-on-year. Of course , as a different independent agency, IDC has its own ways of tallying PC shipments. Notably it covers a larger collection of PC form factors that includes Chromebooks.
Another difference is in PC industry systems maker rankings. IDC found that HP was the top PC vendor, rather than Lenovo, by 23.9 per cent compared to 22.1 per cent. This might have something to do with the respective vendors' strength in additional PC form factors.
On the topic of the reason for the upswing in PC shipments for the first time in years, IDC agreed with Gartner, as I noted in the intro. The gains are largely due to a continuing business PC refresh programme, it said. However, it added that gaming PCs sales had recently grown too, helped on by the improved supply and prices of graphic cards (in the wake of cryptocurrency declines).