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Gartner says back-to-school PC sales failed. IDC says they worked

Whatever's going on, overall sales are down leaving HP Inc and Lenovo lords of a shrinking land

Analyst outfits Gartner and IDC have reached opposing conclusions on the same set of events.

Both chose Tuesday to release their quarterly count of PC sales for the year's third quarter.

Gartner's principal analyst Mika Kitagawa proclaimed the quarter was a “very weak back-to-school sales season” and the firm reported a 3.6 per cent year-on-year shipments dip in terms of units shipped. IDC's take on things said “back-to-school promotions helped boost results” but just a 0.5 per cent shipments dip.

IDC said component shortages have eased and didn't impact shipments or sales unduly, at least for the big PC-makers. Gartner says component prices kept prices high and vendors suppressed the market by passing them on to consumers.

Both firms' data also note the decline of “other” manufacturers, which now scrap for about a quarter of the market. IDC reckons component prices bite hard outside the big PC players. Given that the likes of Fujitsu and Toshiba are in the “other” pile, The Register suspects things are even harder for white box PC-makers.

Both firms find HP Inc and Lenovo in first and second place respectively, by shipments, followed by Dell. As the tables below show, some vendors are able to win a little growth in market share, but overall things are still on the slide.

Here's Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q17. Shipments are recorded in thousands of units.

  3Q17 Shipments 3Q17 Market Share (%) 3Q16 Shipments 3Q16 Market Share (%) 3Q17-3Q16 Growth (%)
HP Inc. 14,592 21.8 13,983 20.1 4.4
Lenovo 14,356 21.4 14,576 21 -1.5
Dell 10,154 15.2 10,194 14.7 -0.4
ASUS 4,892 7.3 5,373 7.7 -9
Apple 4,613 6.9 4,886 7 -5.6
Acer Group 4,323 6.5 4,610 6.6 -6.2
Others 14,077 21 15,889 22.9 -11.4
Total 67,005 67,005 100 69,510 100 -3.6

And here's IDC's Top 5 Companies, Worldwide Traditional PC Shipments, Third Quarter 2017 (Preliminary)

  3Q17 Shipments 3Q17 Market Share 3Q16 Shipments 3Q16 Market Share 3Q17/3Q16 Growth
HP Inc 15,295 22.80% 14,427 21.40% 6.00%
Lenovo 14,506 21.60% 14,497 21.50% 0.10%
Dell 10,836 16.10% 10,751 15.90% 0.80%
Apple 4,901 7.30% 4,887 7.20% 0.30%
ASUS 4,189 6.20% 4,907 7.30% -14.60%
Others 17,457 26.00% 18,029 26.70% -3.20%
Total 67,185 100.00% 67,498 100.00% -0.50%

Both firms feel that the long-term PC sales trend won't helped by longer refresh cycles in mature markets. Windows 10 is helping business sales, but upgrades remain patchy as different parts of the world are making the jump to Microsoft's latest at different times depending on the health of the local economy. ®

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