Laptop sales pick up with Apple’s latest MacBook Pro selling nicely

There’s more positive news on the PC front, with one analyst firm declaring that laptop sales are up for the first quarter of this year, against traditional seasonal expectations (i.e. slower sales at the beginning of the year).

TrendForce’s figures for Q1 2017 show that 37.8 million notebooks were shipped around the globe, which represents a healthy 6.1% increase compared to the same period last year. This is another dose of positive news for the industry this year, compared to the consistent declines in PC shipment numbers we’ve become accustomed to seeing in past years.

TrendForce observed that there were a few reasons for the uptick, including unfulfilled demand from the last quarter, tempting deals that vendors were offering, and distributors bolstering their stock levels ahead of anticipated price increases from manufacturers later in the year.

It is, then, something of a temporary swing, but any good news is welcome when it comes to PC sales these days. And the Q2 outlook remains ‘positive’ according to TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang, with anticipated growth of 1% to 3% year-on-year.

Stall imminent

The not so great news is that we may see progress stall later in the year, and overall shipments are predicted to slip slightly. Wang noted that: “North America had a substantial wave replacement demand from government agencies in last year’s fourth quarter.

“Without similar demand contribution, the global notebook market will be a bit cooler during this year’s second half. TrendForce projects that the 2017 global shipments will fall by 2~4% compared with preceding year’s shipments.”

For Q1 2017, HP remained top dog in the notebook market, and did particularly well selling 8.16 million units which represented a growth of 18.9% year-on-year. Lenovo wasn’t far behind, flogging around 8 million units which was up 1.6% on the same quarter last year.

As for Apple – in fifth place behind Dell and Asus – the company sold 3.4 million MacBooks, with the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar apparently making a ‘significant’ contribution to shipment numbers with ‘brisk’ sales according to TrendForce. Apple’s notebook sales were up 15.4% year-on-year, and in Q2, they’re expected to grow by over 10% compared to this quarter.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).