PC vendors can party like it is 2012 after Canalys reports that that PC growth has hit a record 7 year high.

According to their data the global PC market, inclusive of desktops, notebooks and workstations, grew 4.7% in Q3 2019 to 70.9 million units. The last time the PCC marker saw as much growth was in Q1 2012.

Canalys reports the reasons were not necessarily that vendors realized the value of PCs, but that a variety of unique circumstances caused PC vendors to stock up on PC orders.

In the US, for example, vendors were stocking up to hedge against another round of tariffs scheduled to take effect ahead of the 15 December deadline on US$37 billion worth of Chinese made notebooks and tablets .

Canalys however also attributed growth to less unusual circumstances, such as upgrades to Windows 10, and seasonal inventory stocking for the holiday.

Lenovo and HP placed first and second, with impressive performances particularly in Japan and the United States. Lenovo shipped a total of 17.3 million units while HP shipped 16.7 million units. Third-placed Dell also grew in line with the market at 5.2% and shipped 12.1 million PCs this quarter. Apple and Acer rounded the top five, taking fourth and fifth places respectively, also growing shipments albeit by 1.5% and 0.8%.

“The PC market high is refreshing. However, there is a limit to how quickly leading vendors can ramp production,” said Rushabh Doshi, Research Director of Canalys’ Mobility services. “Intel remains a key bottleneck, with pressure on its 14nm CPU supply not likely to see improvement until Q1 2020. However, the Intel CPU shortage provided leading PC vendors an advantage over smaller rivals drove HP and Lenovo to their best Q3 performance to-date. Going forward, leading vendors will have an opportunity to further consolidate the market and squeeze smaller vendors’ market share, if the Intel supply is not able to satisfy the spike in orders.”

The top five vendors consolidated their market share to 79.6% of the total PC market in Q3 2019, with market leaders HP and Lenovo taking a lion’s share of 48% together.

See the full report at Canalys here.

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