PC market is far from dead

The recent revival in the corporate PC market is going to be a feature of the market for at least the next couple of years according to IDC

The PC market has delivered growth in Q1 for the first time in five years and more improvements could be coming in the next couple of years.

Commercial spending in EMEA has helped the PC segment improve its fortunes and IDC is expecting that personal computing devices -  which includes desktop, notebook, workstations and tablets -  will return to growth as a whole by 2019.

The demand for tablets has been dropping and the analyst house is still expecting the overall annual compound growth rate for the five years between 2016-21 to come in a -1.4%.

But from a channel perspective there are some positive signs with the commercial market expected to be the segment supporting the growth that does filter through over the next couple of years.

“The steady refinement of slim and convertible designs, as well as rising commercial spending are helping stabilise overall traditional PC shipments," said Loren Loverde, vice president with IDC's Worldwide Personal Computing Device Tracker and Tracker Forecasting.

"Although traditional PC shipments will decline slightly by the end of the forecast, rising replacements and steadier growth in emerging regions will keep commercial growth in positive territory," she added.

On the tablet front the development that IDC has signaled could have an impact on a struggling market is the shift by more OEMs, that have been predominately operating in the smart phone space, to start making more Windows devices.

"This is happening with both detachable tablets and notebook PCs, and as recently as this week Huawei announced very attractive products in both categories," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.

The continued improvement in the fortunes of the commercial PC market were evident this week with the two largest players in the market, Lenovo and HP, sharing their financial results and recent progress.

HP delivered a solid set of Q2 numbers that showed that there was still plenty of life left in the hardware market, with revenues climbing by 7% to $12.4bn.

"This was a breakthrough quarter for HP, and marks the first time both Personal Systems and Print have grown in the same quarter since 2010. We're delivering solid performance across our portfolio, in all regions, and on key financial metrics," said Dion Weisler, President and CEO, HP.

Meanwhile over at Lenovo fourth quarter results delivered a 4.9% increase in revenues, to $9.6bn, with the performance of the PC and smart devices being a contributing factor.

In the firm's PC and Smart Devices business group, which includes PCs, tablets and smart devices, quarterly sales were up 4.9% year-on-year to $6.7bn.  Quarterly shipments grew one percent to 14.4m, which was better than the overall market.

Read more on Business Laptops