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Home / Technology / Gartner and IDC agree that PC sales are on the rise – but they do not agree on what a PC is

Gartner and IDC agree that PC sales are on the rise – but they do not agree on what a PC is



  Is this Chromebook a traditional PC? Gartner says no, IDC says yes.
Enlarge / Does this Chromebook count as a traditional PC? Gartner says no, IDC says yes.

Valentina Palladino

We've heard for some time that the traditional PC is dying, but it's not quite dead yet. Business analysts Gartner and IDC are tracking the numbers differently, but agree that sales are traditional PCs grew significantly in the second quarter of 201

9 in some regions.

While both companies posted a year-over-year market growth, their actual numbers differed. IDC's revenue grew 4.7% in the second quarter, while Gartner only posted 1.5%. The US regional sales figures differed even more, with Gartner losing 0.4% and IDC claiming a "high single-digit profit".

We talked to Jitesh Ubrani from IDC about the difference, and it turned out that Two companies are not quite in agreement on what a traditional PC is or not. IDC counts Chromebooks as traditional PCs, but not Microsoft Surface tablets. Gartner counts Surface, but Chromebooks are not. IDC's higher numbers suggest a stronger market for Chromebooks than Surface, which should come as no surprise to children in North American schools, where the cheap and easy-to-lock Chromebooks are omnipresent.

Analysts from both companies agree that a US / China trade war has not hurt PC sales yet, but everyone turns it a little differently. Gartner's Mikiko Kitigawa warns: "Most laptops and tablets are currently manufactured in China, and sales of these devices in the US could be accompanied by significant price increases." "The fear of increased tariffs and a possible trade war is a big topic of conversation, but not yet reflected in a noticeable increase in demand."

We also questioned Jitesh after the strong discrepancy between sales in the US and Canada figures: The US market was essentially flat, while the Canadian market for twelve consecutive quarters grew 11.0% in the second quarter highest growth in nine years. Jitesh spent much of this growth on Windows 10 upgrades with Windows 7 back end of life (EOL) in January 2020 just around the corner.

US companies and organizations are on the same EOL date as the Canadian, with only Jitesh – who is a Canadian himself – attributing the difference to the Canadian market, which moved "faster" than its American peers. This seemed to us a polite way to say that Canadians intend to exceed the January 2020 deadline, where many American companies and organizations will let them pass and catch up for months and years.


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