For the first time in six years, the PC market experienced some solid growth.
During the second quarter, shipments for PCs were up 1.4 percent from the same period last year, according to the research firm Gartner. That may not sound like much, but the PC market hasn’t reported any year-over-year quarterly growth since 2012.
Rival research firm IDC echoed the findings. During the second quarter, shipments increased by 2.7 percent, marking the “strongest year-on-year growth rate” in more than six years. (IDC previously reported the PC market showing some growth, but at very low rates.)
The uptick is certainly a good news for an industry that’s been struggling against ongoing demand for smartphones. But the increase in shipments probably won’t last. Both research firms attributed the growth to how businesses are trying to migrate to Windows 10 ahead of Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 in 2020, so the trend will eventually taper off.
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Meanwhile in the consumer space, buyers continue to choose smartphones over notebooks and desktops. It’s one reason why Gartner isn’t optimistic on future growth in the PC market. In the short-term, business demand for Windows 10 PCs will help offset the slumping sales on the consumer side. But overall, Gartner predicts that growth in the market will remain largely flat from 2018 to 2020.
However, not all consumer PC products are struggling. According to IDC, premium laptops, gaming PCs, and Google’s Chromebooks have seen some demand from buyers, which have helped keep total PC shipments up.
During the second quarter, the top PC vendors were Lenovo and HP, which both had a 21.9 percent market share, according to Gartner’s numbers. Dell came in third with a 16.8 percent share. Apple was in fourth with a 7.1 percent share.
If you’re in the market for a new PC, check out our roundup of the Best Laptops.