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The PC market grows unexpectedly, thanks to tariff fears and the Windows 7 transition

The PC market benefited from a higher number of Intel processors and the transition from Windows 7 to a year-on-year growth of 4.7 percent higher than anticipated, IDC said Thursday night. President Trump even contributed.

In total, 64,858 million computers were sold worldwide, said IDC, an increase of 4.7 percent. A year ago, HP topped the list of suppliers around the world. However, for the second quarter, an incredible 18.2 percent increase in sales year after year pushed Lenovo to China to the top of the list.

In part, that may be because tariff fears prompted PC vendors to fill the channel, IDC said, by selling laptops outside of China before potential rates raised their prices. Otherwise, the two factors that contributed the most were Intel's ability to send microprocessors once again without supply restrictions, as well as the imminent end of Microsoft Windows 7 support in January 2020. That, according to IDC, is driving to companies to invest in new PC hardware.

The tariff threat in particular contributed to "artificially propping up the PC market during the second quarter." Jitesh Ubrani, research manager of IDC's mobile device tracking devices, in a statement.

Worldwide, Lenovo had a market share of 25.1 percent, selling 16.3 million PCs. HP finished second, with a market share of 23.7 percent and 15.4 million computers sold. Dell was third with a 17.9 percent share, and 11.6 million computers were sold. Acer finished fourth, with a market share of 6.6 percent and 4.3 million PCs. Apple finished in fifth place, with a 6.3 percent market share and 4.1 million computers sold.

Gartner, which does not include Chromebooks in its study, said the PC market grew only 1.5 percent to 62.97 million units worldwide. Also, put Lenovo at the top, followed by HP and Dell. Excluding Chromebooks helped push Apple to third place, followed closely by Acer and Asus.

All IDC and Gartner estimates were preliminary, the firms said.

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