Thanks to Chromebooks, Windows XP upgrades, and improved channel partner alignment with OEMs, U.S. PC shipments jumped 6.9 percent in the second quarter of 2014, while global shipments for PCs were down 1.7 percent, the smallest decline in two years, according to research firm IDC.
The U.S. PC market was strong, IDC reported, with Hewlett-Packard holding onto its top spot domestically and the No. 2 spot globally. IDC reported four of the top five PC makers experienced double-digit growth in the second quarter in the U.S. IDC credited businesses upgrading Windows XP systems and a rise in sales of ultraslim-class laptops with buoying commercial sales. A strong consumer market was driven by the growing popularity of affordable Chromebooks and consumer interest in Windows 8, according to the research firm.
"In the United States, better alignment with channel partners and internal restructuring helped HP and Dell to grow faster than the market,” said Rajani Singh, IDC senior research analyst. Both HP and Dell have disproportionately benefited from consolidation of the larger PC market and now together represent 53 percent of the U.S. market, she said.
But despite strong U.S. PC shipments, global PC shipments dropped 1.7 percent.
The big winner, however, in IDC’s global shipment numbers was Lenovo, which extended its lead as the No. 1 PC seller with 19.6 percent of the market, up from 16.7 percent a year ago. HP came in at No. 2 in worldwide PC shipments, with 18.3 percent market share, up from 16.4 percent. No. 3 PC maker Dell experienced nearly 2 points of growth compared with last year to hold 14 percent market share.
"The better-than-expected results seem to arise from two places. One encouraging factor was a good intake of lower-end systems, including Chromebooks, which coincides with the recent slowing in tablet growth and perhaps signals the beginning of some stabilization on the consumer side," said Jay Chou, IDC senior research analyst, in a statement.
“Lenovo has again proven our ability to drive growth, no matter the market conditions,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, in a prepared statement. “These results show the formula for success -- a clear strategy, innovative products, operational excellence, and a diverse global team -- is clearly working.”
While Lenovo took the crown as the leader in worldwide PC shipments, in the U.S. it’s the No. 3 PC vendor with 11.5 percent market share, trailing significantly behind market leader HP with 27.3 percent share. With 25.7 percent market share, Dell is No. 2 in the U.S.
IDC called out Dell’s success in its PC business, crediting its efforts to “tighten its channel relationships since its privatization and aggressively work to streamline its operations and relationship with its partners.”
Acer and Apple, meanwhile, both lost market share over the past year. In U.S. shipments, Apple slipped to become the No. 4 PC maker, dropping from the No. 3 spot to come in at 10 percent market share, a 1.7 percent decline. Acer’s global PC shipments dropped 2.5 percent to 8.2 overall market share.
IDC, however, remains bullish on the PC market. That's a complete reversal from May, when IDC forecast PC shipments would slip 6 percent globally for the year. IDC has since revised its forecast and now says globally PC shipments will be mostly flat for 2014. Here in the U.S., IDC’s Singh said PC sales will remain robust.
"Moving forward, strong sales in the back-to-school season and healthy consumer sales in the holiday season should keep the U.S. PC market in positive territory for the rest of the year," Singh said.
PUBLISHED JULY 10, 2014