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PC Makers Have Seen 'Vibrant Business Demand' From Windows 7 End-Of-Life

Dell, Lenovo and HP led the way on growth in the U.S. PC market in the fourth quarter, according to Gartner.

As Windows 7 officially reaches end of life Tuesday, PC makers have apparently been capitalizing on the transition right up until the end.

The four largest PC manufacturers all saw growth in shipments during the fourth quarter of 2019 in the U.S., while three of the four saw growth globally during the fourth quarter, research firm Gartner reported.

[Related: The 10 Most Innovative Laptops From CES 2020]

PC shipments climbed 4.6 percent in the U.S. and 2.3 percent worldwide during the fourth quarter, according to Gartner. Those results contributed to overall 2019 PC shipment growth of 0.6 percent globally—the first annual growth seen in the PC market since 2011, the research firm reported.

The PC market expansion was "driven by vibrant business demand for Windows 10 upgrades, particularly in the U.S., EMEA and Japan," said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner senior principal analyst, in a news release.

While Microsoft's end-of-support date for Windows 7 is Tuesday, businesses still have the option to pay for extended Windows 7 security updates to postpone the move to Windows 10 PCs.

Kitagawa emphasized the role that business customers have played in driving the PC growth.

"Contrasted against the ongoing weakness in consumer PC demand, business PC demand has led to unit growth in five of the last seven quarters," Kitagawa said.

The growth has come even as Intel's CPU shortage has dragged on. While the CPU supply constraints began in mid-2018, they recently "became a major issue again on PC delivery to enterprise customers by the top three vendors," she said. "Without this shortage, shipments would have grown faster than the reported results."

In the U.S. market, No. 2 player Dell saw the fastest PC growth during the fourth quarter with shipments up 15.9 percent, while third-place Lenovo had growth in shipments of 11.2 percent. HP Inc. remained at No. 1, with growth of 4.4 percent, and Apple saw modest growth of 0.8 percent and remained in fourth place.

Here are Gartner's U.S. PC shipments and market-share figures for the fourth quarter of 2019:

  • HP Inc.: Shipments up 4.4 percent; market share of 31.2 percent (31.2 percent a year ago)
  • Dell: Shipments up 15.9 percent; market share of 26.8 percent (24.2 percent a year ago)
  • Lenovo: Shipments up 11.2 percent; market share of 15 percent (15.3 percent a year ago)
  • Apple: Shipments up 0.8 percent; market share of 13.6 percent (14.1 percent a year ago)
  • Microsoft: Shipments down 16.4 percent; market share of 4.6 percent (5.8 percent a year ago)
  • And here are Gartner's global PC shipments and market-share figures for the quarter:

  • Lenovo: Shipments up 8.1 percent; market share of 24.1 percent (22.4 percent a year ago)
  • HP Inc.: Shipments up 3 percent; market share of 22.2 percent (21.7 percent a year ago)
  • Dell: Shipments up 5.2 percent; market share of 16.8 percent (16.1 percent a year ago)
  • Apple: Shipments down 0.9 percent; market share of 7 percent (7.1 percent a year ago)
  • Acer: Shipments down 6.1 percent; market share of 5.7 percent (6.1 percent a year ago)
  • Asus: Shipments down 6.2 percent; market share of 5.5 percent (5.9 percent a year ago)
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