The worldwide PC shipments saw a decline for the 12th straight quarter, as per the latest numbers by research firm Gartner. The shipments fell 3.6% globally in the third quarter of 2017, when compared with shipment numbers for the same quarter in 2016—69.51 million units to 67 million units.

In Q3 2017, HP leads the way with 14.59 million units shipped, with Lenovo in the second place with 14.35 million units. These numbers indicate that HP has seen a 4.4% growth in this quarter, over the 13.98 million units shipped in Q3 2016, while Lenovo has witnessed a decline of 1.5% when compared with 14.57 million units they shipped in Q3 2016. HP is the only PC maker to have registered a growth in this quarter, while the five big PC makers that follow it are all witnessing declines in shipments, to various degrees.

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The rest of the top six vendors see Dell in the third place with 10.15 million units shipped in the quarter, which is a decline of 0.4% compared with the 10.19 million units in Q3 2016. Asus takes the fourth place, with 4.89 million units shipped in Q3 2017, a 9% decline compared with the 5.3 million units shipped on Q3 2016.

As it turns out, the sluggishness isn’t restricted to Microsoft Windows-based PCs. Apple has also seen a 5.6% decline, which means the Cupertino-based company shipped 4.61 million Mac devices in Q3 2017 compared with 4.88 million Macs shipped in Q3 2016. Apple, which last refreshed its PC line-up in June this year, could be betting on the upcoming iMac Pro later this year, to claw back the decline.

At the final step of the top six is Acer, which clocked 4.32 million units shipped in Q3 2017, as against 4.61 million units shipped in the same quarter last year. This means a rather worrying decline of 6.2% this year.

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There are multiple reasons for the continued sluggishness of global PC shipments. “While there were signs of stabilization in the PC industry in key regions, including EMEA, Japan and Latin America, the relatively stable results were offset by the US market, which saw a 10% year-over-year decline in part because of a very weak back-to-school sales season," said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. In the US market, all PC makers saw a decline in shipment numbers—HP registered the lowest decline at 2.7% year-on-year to soften the blow, while Lenovo lost the most with a 25.2% decline in shipments and Asus clocked a 22% decline.

Apart from the US market pulling down global numbers, the shortages of certain components such as the DRAM led to changes in component prices. “The component price hike impacted the consumer PC market as most vendors generally pass the price hike on to consumers, rather than absorbing the cost themselves," says Kitagawa.

While Apple has the new iMac Pro to look forward to, PC makers will have the new 8th generation chips from Intel which should provide some boost as the line-ups are refreshed. However, unlike Apple which just released the MacOS High Sierra operating system in September, there is no big release for Microsoft’s Windows on the horizon.