Despite experts’ concern over the U.S.-China trade standoff, global PC shipments increased to 63 million units, a 1.5 percent increase, in the second quarter. Gartner noted two key factors influencing this trend, which, so far, is bucking the expectation that demand would slip given trade tensions.
The first factor is the strong demand from businesses upgrading to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 10 operating system, which increased after Microsoft announced it would no longer be patching the Windows 7 operating system as of January 2020. The second is an easing of a shortage of Intel Corp. microprocessors, which was negatively impacting certain sales.
All three of the world’s top PC manufacturers, Lenovo, HP Inc., and Dell Technologies, reported gains in PC shipments in the second quarter. Together, the three companies represented 64.1 percent of global PC shipments for this time frame.
Dell Technologies shipped 10.65 million, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year. According to Gartner, the increase was Dell’s sixth consecutive quarter to post gains, setting it apart as “the most consistent out of the top vendors over the past three years.”
While these reports from Gartner are positive, especially when compared to analysts’ expectations of the market, Gartner senior principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa isn’t particularly hopeful that the trend can be expected to continue. He attributes this mainly to the trade war still waging between the U.S. and China.
“The next phase of tariffs could have significant impact,” Kitagawa said in a written statement. “Most laptops and tablets are currently manufactured in China and sales of these devices in the (United States) could face significant price increases if the punitive tariffs are imposed and vendors do not take quick action to respond.”