Lenovo, HP and Dell push 3% PC surge in third quarter

Shipments of desktops, laptops and workstations jumped 3% in the third quarter as Dell, Lenovo and HP raced to beat increased tariffs. (Pixabay)

Third quarter PC shipments increased by 3% over a year earlier partly because of the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and manufacturers’ worries over impending tariffs, according to IDC.

Shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations reached 79.4 million units in the third quarter, up by 3% from the third quarter of 2018. That was the second consecutive quarter of growth in 2019.

Lenovo, HP and Dell all saw increases up to 9% in the quarter, while Apple and Acer saw declines over the third quarter of 2018. Lenovo saw a 7% increase in the third quarter over a year earlier, while HP saw a 9% increase and Dell saw a 5% increase. Apple was down by 6%, and Acer declined by 7%.

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The overall increase occurred partly because PC makers recognized that higher U.S. tariffs on incoming goods were coming in the fall and began to push out additional inventory during the quarter, IDC said. “The process was a bit more difficult as many [PC makers] faced supply constraints from Intel, leaving AMD with more room to grow,” Jitesh Ubrani, an IDC analyst, said in a statement.

Originally, a 10% U.S. tariff on List 4 Goods, such cell phones, laptops, video consoles, monitors and some toys, apparel and footwear was to take effect on Sept. 1, but was delayed by the Trump Administration until Dec. 15.

Both China and the U.S. have imposed duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods, including agricultural products as well, in a 15-month dispute. The two sides held their first meetings in Washington on Thursday after a two-month delay.

On Friday, China’s official daily newspaper said in an English editorial that a partial trade deal “is a more feasible objective,” according to Reuters.

Tariffs on a separate group of goods, including furniture, will take effect Oct. 15, unless both sides reach an agreement that delays that date or alters the tariffs.

Trade tensions are leading to changes in the supply chain. “Most notebook manufacturers are now prepared to move production to other countries in Asia [outside of China], such as Taiwan and Vietnam,” he said.

Another factor in the PC increase is demand, IDC said. Companies are migrating their PCs to Windows 10, as they face the end of service date for Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020, IDC said.

In the U.S., more than 60% of businesses have moved from Windows 7 to Windows 10, according to an IDC survey.

IDC said Lenovo and HP led in third quarter shipments, with 17.3 million and 16.8 million shipments, respectively. Dell and Apple were third and fourth, at 12.1 million and 5 million respectively, while Acer finished fifth, at 4.4 million. The tally includes desktops, notebooks and workstations, but not tablets or x86 servers.

RELATED: Trump weighs delisting all 156 Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges.

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