Apple Inc. (AAPL) Slips To Fifth Place In Q3 PC Shipments

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Slips To Fifth Place In Q3 PC Shipments

Gartner expects the DRAM shortage to continue on to the end of 2018.

Worldwide PC shipments, which includes PCs and notebooks, have continued to decline for the 12th consecutive quarter, according to new figures by analyst firm, Gartner. Lenovo came in at number two during the quarter with 14.36 million shipments, but that was down 1.5 percent year-over year. Lenovo was as close second with 14.4 million shipments, followed by Dell (10.1 million), Asus (4.9 million), and then Apple.

"While there were signs of stabilisation in the PC industry in key regions, including Europe-Middle East-Africa, Japan and Latin America, the relatively stable results were offset by the USA market, which saw a 10 per cent year over year decline in part because of a very weak back-to-school sales season", said Mika Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner.

"Emerging markets rebounded slightly more than anticipated, but overall results reflect the stabilisation we expected following component and inventory adjustments", Loverde says.

The latest quarter continues the trend of a relatively stabilizing PC market after a very hard past few years in which sales continued to plummet each quarter.

The market watcher said a scarcity of DRAM components, which has put a hole in the PC profits of major vendors including Dell EMC, became even more severe in the third quarter of 2017 when compared with the first half of the year.

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HP Inc. retained the top spot and further lengthened its lead with almost 23% share of the market, helped in part by major wins in Asia/Pacific.

"Lenovo continues to face the dilemma of market share gains versus profitability".

"Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive PC shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region". In the U.S. market, all PC makers saw a decline in shipment numbers-HP registered the lowest decline at 2.7% year-on-year to soften the blow, while Lenovo lost the most with a 25.2% decline in shipments and Asus clocked a 22% decline. It appears the company is putting more emphasis on profitability than share gain, according to Gartner.

According to the figures, Apple's Mac shipments for Q3 2017 are estimated to be 4.613 million units, versus the same quarter previous year where Apple shipped 4.886 million units. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of declining PC shipments. "Business PC demand is stable in the USA, but demand could slow down among SMBs due to PC price increases due to component shortages". In China, the PC market is estimated to have declined by 5 percent in the third quarter of 2017, with more stability in the business market, particularly in large enterprises, than in the consumer space.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel's Game Dev program. But any growth or continuity experienced there was offset by massive declines in the U.S. Sales here declined 10 percent year-over-year during Q3 2017.