Dubai – MENA Herald: Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.3 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 5.2 percent decline from the second quarter of 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This was the seventh consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, but Gartner analysts said the market is showing some signs of improvement.

“One of the ongoing problems in the PC market has been the price hike in selected regions due to the weakening local currency against the U.S. dollar,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “The price issue has impacted the EMEA and Latin America regions for the past year. However, PC shipment declines became rather modest in the second quarter compared with previous quarters, which suggests a fading currency impact.

“All regions except North America experienced a PC shipment decline. The Latin America region was still very weak largely because of political and economic instability. PC shipments in Latin America are expected to fall below 5 million units for the second quarter of 2016, which is a decline of more than 20 percent from the second quarter of 2015. These shipment results would be some of the lowest in the history of the Latin America PC industry.”

While the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union did not have a major impact in the worldwide PC results in the second quarter of 2016, Gartner analysts said Brexit could potentially create uncertainty, not only in currency, but also the entire economy beyond Europe.

Lenovo maintained the No. 1 position in worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2016, despite a 2.2 percent decline in units from the same period last year (see Table 1). This was the fifth consecutive quarter of global PC shipment declines for Lenovo. The company experienced double-digit growth in the U.S. mobile PC market, but EMEA continued to be a challenge due to inventory build during the quarter. In Asia/Pacific, Lenovo’s shipments declined, but the decline was less than the overall average in the region.

HP Inc. returned to positive growth in the second quarter of 2016 after four consecutive quarters of shipment decline. HP Inc. resolved its inventory buildup, which had slowed its sell-in shipments. HP Inc. did well in EMEA to maintain the top position, but it was not able to surpass Dell in the U.S.

Dell grew faster than the industry average in all regions in second quarter of 2016. Dell did especially well in the U.S., Latin America and Japan markets. Mobile PC shipments grew across all regions except EMEA, while its desktop PC shipments declined in most regions.

Asus, Apple and Acer are battling it out for the fourth position in worldwide PC shipments for the second quarter of 2016, as preliminary results get finalized.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 15.2 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 1.4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2015 (see Table 2). The U.S. PC market had experienced five consecutive quarters of shipment declines. Analysts said there are still opportunities and challenges ahead for the U.S. PC market.

“While vendors and channels generally have more optimistic expectations of PC sales compared with the past, there is still a chance to have a potential inventory built. This will depend on how PC market demand picks up in the second half of this year for both the business and consumer segments,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “The second and third quarter are typically PC buying season for the U.S. public sectors. Positive second-quarter results could suggest healthy PC sales activities among the public sectors. There is an opportunity for a Windows 10 refresh among businesses, which we expect to see more toward the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017.”

Asia/Pacific PC shipments totaled 22.7 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 6.3 percent decline from the second quarter of 2015. With a stagnant economy in the region, it put pressure on discretionary spending, and smartphones ranked as a higher priority to purchase than PCs. There were election activities in Australia, the Philippines and South Korea, which created a lull in IT spending from the government sector. PC shipments in China declined 6.4 percent. Business confidence is weak in China, and this affects consumer buying patterns.

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 17.8 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a decline of 4.3 percent year over year. The impact of the euro depreciation, and resulting price increases, ended with Western Europe showing a low-single-digit decline. Brexit had no impact in the second quarter beyond the steadily weaker pound since the referendum was announced in 2015. However, post-Brexit sterling was sharply weaker against the dollar, and this will cause price increases that will likely cause downward pressure on fourth-quarter sales in the U.K.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.