Yearly PC shipments grow for the first time since 2011

Gartner and IPC report the PC market is finally seeing annual growth after years of decline

Business demand for PC's saw the overall yearly shipments grow for the first time in eight years, according to Gartner and IPC.  

There was a total of 70.6 million worldwide PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 2.3% compared to the same quarter in 2018.

For the whole of 2019, PC shipments surpassed an estimated 261 million units for a 0.6% growth compared to the year before.

"The PC market experienced growth for the first time since 2011, driven by vibrant business demand for Windows 10 upgrades, particularly in the US, EMEA and Japan," said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. 

"We expect this growth to continue through this year even after Windows 7 support comes to an end this month, as many businesses in emerging regions such as China, Eurasia and the emerging Asia/Pacific have not yet upgraded."

This business-specific growth looked particularly good against the ongoing weakness in consumer PC demand, according to Kitagawa, with business PC demand leading to unit growth in five of the last seven quarters. 

The ongoing Intel CPU shortage, which began last year, has become a major issue again when it comes to providing PC for enterprise customers for the top three vendors, according to Kitagawa. Without this shortage, she said shipments would have grown faster than the reported results.

Despite these chip constraints, the top three vendors increased their combined market share in 2019 to the highest level since Gartner began tracking PC data. Lenovo, HP and Dell accounted for nearly 65% of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019, up from just more than 61% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

IPC's figures for 2019's PC market show a similar story of yearly growth, with worldwide shipments growing by 2.7% from 259.6 million to 266.7 million. 

The analyst house's figures for the fourth quarter of 2019 saw shipments grow by 4.8% when compared to the same quarter in 2018. 

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