The downward trend continues for the worldwide PC market in the second quarter of 2017. According to the latest data from Gartner, global PC shipments totaled 61.1 million for the said period, representing a 4.3 percent decline from the same quarter last year.

Worldwide PC Shipments Spiral Downward

The figure also represents the lowest single quarter of PC shipments since 2007.

On the other side of the spectrum, Macs didn't perform as great, either. Mac sales remained stagnant throughout Q2 2017 compared with last year's numbers. In that period, Apple only managed to move 4.24 million Macs worldwide, down from 4.26 million last year.

Despite the dip in PC shipments, however, both HP and Dell saw growth during the quarter, as per the data Gartner included in its press release. HP sold close to 12.7 million PCs accounting for 20.8 percent of the market, while Dell sold close to 9.6 million, accounting for 15.6 percent.

HP grew 3.3 percent; Dell grew 1.4 percent. Save for these two, all PC manufacturers across the board — Lenovo, Asus, Apple, Acer, and others — saw declines.

IDC, meanwhile, had similar tallies, suggesting that worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.5 million, representing a 3.3 decline compared with last year's figures. Per IDC, HP grew by 6.2 percent, while Dell grew by 3.7 percent. More notably, Apple grew by 1.7 percent, against its 0.4 percent decline per Gartner's data.

What Caused The Market To Slow Down?

Shortages of important PC components such as solid state hard drives might have contributed to the overall decline of PC shipments. IDC research manager Jay Chou thinks, however, that the industry is trending toward stabilization.

"Consumer demand will remain under pressure, although growth in areas like PC gaming and the increasingly attractive portfolio of sleek Windows-based systems will help push the consumer market to stabilize as well," he said.

The Rise Of Chromebooks

Gartner notes that the Chromebook market has been growing more rapidly than the overall PC market. While Gartner didn't include Chromebook shipments in the data, it notes that it is "moderately impacting" the PC market. Chromebook shipments grew 38 percent last year, for the record.

"[Chromebooks] could be potentially transformed as a PC replacement if a few conditions are met going forward," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "For example, infrastructure of general connectivity needs to improve; mobile data connectivity needs to become more affordable; and it needs to have more offline capability."

Chromebooks surpassing overall PC growth seems a dubious idea, but Kitagawa makes a strong argument. Suppose Chromebooks improve on certain factors such as its offline capabilities, then it stands a chance.

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