PC shipment slump bottoms out

NEW YORK — A two-year slump in personal computer sales ended in the second quarter, helped by improving demand in developed markets like North America and Europe.

PC sales have fallen in recent years, hurt by surging demand for tablets and other mobile devices. Tough economic conditions around the world have also disrupted sales. But quarterly figures released Wednesday by the research firms Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. show the global slump is easing.

During the April to June quarter, Gartner said PC shipments edged up 0.1 percent to 75.8 million units. IDC, which also tracks PC shipments, had slightly different figures. Both firms, however, said sales posted their best quarterly results since the second quarter of 2012, when demand for tablets and mobile devices began to surge. IDC said by its calculations PC shipments fell 1.7 percent to 74.4 million units. That number was much better than the 7.1 percent decline the firm expected.

Better sales in developed markets and interest in lower-priced PC models like the Chromebook, which uses Google’s operating system and starts at $199, helped boost results. IDC vice president Loren Loverde said the better-than-expected results are partly due to a rebound from weaker demand last year, and potentially short-term replacement activity.

“We can look for some recovery in emerging regions going forward, but it may coincide with slower growth in mature regions, and we do not see the recent gains as a motive to raise the long-term outlook,” he said in a statement.

Sales were strongest in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Emerging markets continued to see declines, however, hurt by weak economies and competition from low-cost tablets.

In the U.S., shipments rose 6.9 percent, spurred by businesses replacing office PCs and consumers updating Windows XP systems. Microsoft retired the Windows XP operating system earlier this year.

“One encouraging factor was a good intake of lower-end systems, including Chromebooks, which coincides with the recent slowing in tablet growth and perhaps signals the beginning of some stabilization on the consumer side,” said IDC Senior Research Analyst Jay Chou.

IDC analyst Rajani Singh added that strong back-to-school and holiday seasons could help the U.S. PC market stay in positive territory for the rest of the year.

More in Herald Business Journal

Boeing CEO Muilenburg’s total compensation rose to $18.5M

That’s up from just over $15 million a year earlier. It includes the value of stock awards in 2017.

Mother-in-law homes popular after cities ease restrictions

Lynnwood and Everett are seeing a spurt of growth after changing city codes to allow for this development.

Facebook bans Trump-affiliated data firm Cambridge Analytica

The company allegedly held onto improperly obtained user data after claiming to have deleted it.

3 must-try doughnuts when Top Pot opens in Edmonds

After two years of work, the popular Seattle chain is opening its second Snohomish County location.

Boeing’s newest 737 Max makes first flight over Seattle

Prospects for the new aircraft — the Max 7 — are hazy, as low-cost carriers migrated to larger models.

Boeing’s an early casualty as investors dig in for trade war

The company’s share price is headed toward its biggest weekly slump in more than two years.

Superstore chain Fred Meyer to stop selling guns, ammunition

Guns have been sold at nearly 45 of more than 130 stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

Trump’s possible China tariffs bring loud protests — in US

A potential trade war could reverberate across the U.S. economy.

Nike president to leave as company reviews improper conduct

By Matt Townsend / Bloomberg Nike is reviewing improper conduct at the… Continue reading

Most Read