MICROSOFT HAS ENTERED the top five PC vendors in the US for the after managing to flog a reasonable amount of Surface devices.
Gartner's PC shipment estimates for the third quarter of 2018 have HP Inc as the number one PC seller, followed by Dell - no surprises there - and Lenovo and Apple in third and fourth positions. Microsoft just about slipped into the fifth position.
The Redmond firm is still of a long way behind rivals - it flogged an estimated 602,000 units in Q3, compared to two million shifted by its nearest rival Apple. As such, Microsoft has only a 4.1 per cent market share compared to the 30.7 and 25.9 per cent claimed by market leaders HP and Dell.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is a software and cloud firm first and hardware maker second, meaning the fact it beat off the likes of Acer, Asus, Toshiba and others to be one of the top US PC sellers is impressive.
It's also credence to how good the Surface devices Microsoft makes are; we were suitably impressed with the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and even the cheaper Surface Go. And we expect we'll give the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 an approving nod, though we need to have some time with them first.
Overall PC shipments are also ticking along, according to Gartner's estimates, though growth is flat, which in the PC market isn't a bad thing.
"The PC market continued to be driven by steady corporate PC demand, which was driven by Windows 10 PC hardware upgrades. We expect the Windows 10 upgrade cycle to continue through 2020 at which point the upgrade demand will diminish," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
"Despite the third quarter typically showing strong consumer PC sales due to the back-to-school season, weakness in consumer PC demand continued, offsetting the strong sales in the business market.
"Although the third-quarter results did not show any material impact, the Intel CPU shortage could influence the PC market moving forward with price increases and changes to the vendor landscape.
"While this shortage will have some short-term impacts, Gartner does not see any lasting impact on overall PC demand. Current expectation is that the shortage will continue into 2019, but Intel will prioritize the high-end CPU as well as the CPUs for business PCs. In the meantime, AMD will pick up the part of the market where Intel cannot supply CPUs."
Intel revealed ninth-generation Core processors earlier in the week, so those could help make the next wave of pre-built PC attractive. And AMD's stronger chip line up could also help boost the appeal of getting a new PC or laptop.
So all in all the PC remains not dead yet, so much for the rise of the tablets. µ
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