PC shipments rise; Lenovo ranks #1

PC shipments rallied in 2Q, but some vendors pushed inventory in anticipation of tariff hikes. (IDC)

In a sign of some good news for global chipmakers and the entire electronics ecosystem, PC shipments jumped significantly in the second quarter, according to both IDC and Gartner.

Gartner put the uptick at 1.5% for the second quarter that ended in June compared to a year earlier, while IDC recorded a 4.7% surge. Gartner includes ultramobile PCs, such as the Microsoft Surface, but IDC does not. The overall category includes desktops, notebooks and workstations.

Gartner said 63 million units shipped in the quarter and IDC put the number at 64.9 million.

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Analysts said the shortage in Intel processors improved, which helped create strong desktop PC performance. “Supply for Intel’s processors improved markedly…allowing most PC vendors to fulfill old orders while also shipping a healthy supply of new PCs into the channels,” said Jitesh Ubrani, an IDC analyst, in a statement.

But the market for PCs could also be artificially propped up, he said, due to potentially increased tariffs. “The threat of increased tariffs led some PC makers to ship a surplus of desktops and notebooks, thereby artificially propping up the PC market in the second quarter,” Ubrani said.

Worries about tariffs and U.S.-China trade continue to baffle markets and confuse electronics manufacturers. Chip sales have been down for the past five months globally, while chip-making equipment sales are forecast to be down by 18% in 2019.

RELATED: "SEMI forecasts 18% drop in chip-making equipment sales"

Lenovo was the top vendor, capturing 25% of the market with 16.2 million PCs shipped, IDC said. HP was second (up 3.2%); Dell was third (up 3.1%); and Acer was fourth (down 1.7%). Apple was fifth (up 9.6%).

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