Lenovo's PC shipments rise after six straight quarters of declines

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Overall shipments of PCs dropped 5.7% year-over-year in 2016 to 260 million, according to a report Wednesday by market research firm International Data Corporation. Gamers and other enthusiast audiences are driving growth, but the masses are satisfied by their smartphones and tablets for day-to-day use, and are holding off on upgrading their laptops and desktops as a result.

He continued: "There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks, as well as technology improvements, such as longer battery life". Contraction of the consumer PC market has also slowed as growth and competition from tablets and phones has eased up.

The current crop of consumers tends to buy PCs when they're needed, not necessarily as gifts, Kitagawa argued. The United States saw a slight decline in shipments in the fourth quarter after inventory growth in the third quarter. The top 5 ranked OEMs include market leader Lenovo followed by Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus and Apple. However, this was offset by a 20.9% decline in the Others category, and a 48.3% decline in shipments by Asus.

"The broad PC market has been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth", Gartner's Mikako Kitagawa says.

Lenovo's worldwide market share in the fourth quarter was 22.4 percent, compared to 21.3 percent in the third quarter and 21.6 percent a year ago.

The shrinking market of traditional PC shipments that has taken place the last five years, finally seems to be letting up as users are moving to update their systems, said the IDC report. So not only was Apple able to grow its global market share in 2016 vs 2015, it was also able to increase its own shipment growth by 2.4% year-on-year.

Even more impressive given the relentless "negative noise" we hear about Apple is the fact that as far as US PC shipments (not including iPads), Apple saw its market share increase, as well, to 12.8% in Q4:16 versus 11.8% in Q4:15.

But that's still not an encouraging sign for MacBook Pros, which haven't provided an overwhelming boost to worldwide Mac shipments.

Apple, the tech giant from Cupertino, California had 18.4 million PC shipments during 2016. Given that the holidays weren't kind to the PC market in 2015, there are concerns that the recovery many were hoping for is never going to materialize. It eventually became 4-5 years, then 5-6.

This is not to suggest that the PC industry will decline forever. It had 21% of the PC market. First, you have power users, whether that means high-end gaming enthusiast or professional workstation customer.