HP, Dell Make Gains As Lenovo Sinks In Ugly Q2 U.S. PC Market Battle

HP Inc. held its ground as the top PC vendor in the U.S. market during the second quarter, beating Lenovo and Dell and notching gains that outpaced competitors even as the market took a nearly 6 percent stateside nosedive and reached its lowest level worldwide in a decade, according to research firm Gartner.

HP's U.S. PC shipments rose 6.5 percent year-over-year while Dell finished in the No. 2 spot for the quarter with an increase of about 2 percent, according to Gartner.

The Gartner data also shows HP Inc. outpacing premium PC maker Apple, which saw U.S. shipments fall nearly 10 percent year-over-year in the second quarter.

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The U.S. market accounts for about 20 percent of the PC market overall, and HP and Dell were the only two PC vendors to gain U.S. market share during the quarter. Together, the two top vendors control nearly 60 percent of the U.S. market, HP with a 30.5 percent share and Dell with 27.7 percent. Lenovo finished No. 3 in the U.S. PC market battle with shipments that tumbled more than 16 percent and a 13.2 percent share.

Michael Pearson, president of DSA Techologies, an Elk Grove, Calif.-based solution provider that works with all of the major PC vendors, said HP is hitting the right notes in a PC market that struggles to adapt to longer customer buying cycles and the rise of strong alternatives to traditional PCs, like Chromebooks and convertible tablets.

"They have products that people like," Pearson said of HP, "and on the business side, the split of HP and HPE may have gotten them to focus on the business. They've got their head on straight and they're doing well."

Dell has managed to keep pace with strong customer loyalty, Pearson said. "We rarely have Dell end-client people looking to move to some other product," he said. "They've done a good job with having a solid product mix. It's rare that anyone tells me they're looking at HP or Lenovo if they're already a Dell shop."

Still, Pearson sees a day when the traditional PC is simply a thing of the past. Customers are already stretching their machines well beyond the customary two- or three-year mark and are shopping for machines that provide better bang for their buck, he said.

"Clients are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck, and a convertible product that lets you have the laptop and the tablet in one, we see a lot of interest in those," Pearson said. "A non-touchscreen, plain laptop is just going to go away. We're seeing more of these products that can do all of these other things, and it's going to more and more important."

HP's U.S. shipments for the quarter ended June 30 were 4.27 million, up from 4 million a year prior, according to Gartner.

Dell's U.S. shipments for the period were 3.87 million, up from 3.8 million a year earlier, Gartner said.

Lenovo shipped 1.84 million PCs in the U.S. during the quarter, down from 2.20 in the year-ago period, according to Gartner.

Apple's U.S. shipments were 1.64 million for the quarter, down from 1.82 million in the same period a year ago, Gartner said.

HP also registered the biggest gains in the worldwide PC market during the second quarter, shipping 12.69 million units and knocking Lenovo off its perch atop the global market. HP's total represented 3.3 percent year-over-year growth and gave the vendor 20.8 percent global market share.

Dell was the only other major PC vendor to notch global growth in the second quarter, shipping 9.55 million units, a 1.4 percent year-over-year increase, and finishing the quarter with 15.6 percent market share.

Lenovo's fall from the global top spot in PC shipments was the result of an 8.4 percent decline in shipments to 12.18 million units. The Chinese manufacturer finished the quarter with 19.9 percent global market share.
Apple's global shipment total was essentially flat year-over-year, at 4.23 million units.

Overall, top vendors shipped 61.1 million PCs globally in the second quarter. That's down from 63.87 units in the same period a year ago, and represents the lowest quarterly volume since 2007, according to Gartner. Shipments have fallen for 11 consecutive quarters, Gartner said.

In the U.S., top vendors shipped a total of 14 million units, down from 14.85 million units in the same period a year ago, Gartner said.

Gartner said recent shipment declines are partially the result of higher PC prices driven by the ongoing shortage of memory, SSDs and LCD panels.

Both HP and Dell Technologies said recently that they had increased PC prices in response to the component shortages, and both companies said they expect those shortages to persist for the remainder of the year.

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