Apple struggles against resurgent PC market in US that almost grows for first time in two years

Apple faces an uphill struggle against a rising PC market that is only just short of posting growth figures for the first time in a number of years thanks to business PC replacements and the rekindling of consumer demand.

Related: Windows XP end-of-life pushes PC shipments up 5% in Q1 2014

Data from IDC showed that worldwide PC shipments reached 74.4 million in Q2 2014 and the year-on-year decline of 1.7 per cent is visibly lower than the projected 7.1 per cent loss for the period though IDC moved away from talking up the future of the market.

"The recent strength in mature regions is a positive sign," said Loren Loverde, VP, Worldwide PC Trackers. "However, an important part of this strength is driven by the rebound from weaker demand last year and to potentially short-term replacement activity. We can look for some recovery in emerging regions going forward, but it may coincide with slower growth in mature regions. We do not see the recent gains as a motive to raise the long-term outlook although 2014 growth could get closer to flat, rather than the May projection of -6 per cent."

Europe, the US and Canada showed the strongest surges of any area and one of the major reasons for the slower decline is Windows XP migrations for businesses and consumers as well as Chromebook purchases by the latter category.

Apple only made the top five PC vendors in the US market where it sits in fourth place with a 10 per cent share of the market that has declined from 10.9 per cent last year. HP and Dell lead the US market with respective 27.3 per cent and 25.7 per cent shares of the market and Lenovo overtook Apple by reaching 11.5 per cent of the market.

On a worldwide basis Lenovo is out in front with 19.6 per cent of the market, HP coming out in second on 18.3 per cent and Dell achieving 14 per cent with all three showing double-digit percentage point growth compared to Q2 2013.

Related: 2013 saw biggest ever drop in PC shipments

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Breaking it down by geographical area, the PC market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa [EMEA] posted positive results with the commercial space a particular driver of growth. Western Europe, meanwhile, saw increased demand in the consumer market and shipment levels continued to stabilise, and it remains to be seen whether the Windows XP boost is a short term boon for the PC sector.