Global PC Shipments Down, Except for North America

Sales of PCs might be down across the globe, but at least the North American market is looking up. Despite an overall decline of 5.2 percent in global PC sales in the second quarter of 2016, the U.S. market actually saw a 1.4 percent increase in sales over the previous year.

Those statistics come courtesy of Gartner Inc. The strength in U.S. sales last quarter may be cold comfort for PC manufacturers, as North America was the only region in the world to post positive growth figures year on year, reaching sales of 15.2 million in Q2, according to Gartner.

Mild Growth After a Year of Decline

In addition to dour news from the rest of the world, the numbers posted by the U.S. are hardly anything to write home about. The increase in sales comes after five consecutive quarters of falling demand for PCs, meaning the overall trend for PC sales in the U.S. is anything but certain.

"While vendors and channels generally have more optimistic expectations of PC sales compared with the past, there is still a chance to have a potential inventory built," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "This will depend on how PC market demand picks up in the second half of this year for both the business and consumer segments."

Kitagawa said the second and third quarters are typically when the public sector in the U.S. buys PCs. "Positive second-quarter results could suggest healthy PC sales activities among the public sectors," Kitagawa said. "There is an opportunity for a Windows 10 refresh among businesses, which we expect to see more toward the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017."

Dell came out on top last quarter, with more than 4 million units shipped, representing a 27 share of the U.S. market, and...

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