Lenovo fuels the first PC sales increase in six months

Tariffs could soon hurt manufacturers and suppliers everywhere, though.

The PC market has been pretty gloomy of late, but global shipments went up by at least 1.5 percent after two down quarters, according to Gartner and IDC. Lenovo led the pack with a 25 percent share, followed by HP and Dell with 22.2 and 16.9 percent, respectively. The growth was driven in part by the latest Windows 10 refresh and an easing of the Intel CPU shortage, which has adversely affected PC sales for the last 18 months.

IDC and Gartner count shipments slightly differently, but IDC saw "high single-digit" US growth and Gartner saw a slight sales decline stateside. The number of units shipped went up for both desktop and portable PC models, according to IDC. Apple's MacBook keyboard problems may or may not have affected worldwide shipments, which were flat according to Gartner, and up 9 percent in IDC's report.

Even the modest gains might not continue, however, the analysts believe. Manufacturers and suppliers have been rushing to get inventory delivered with the threat of additional tariffs looming from the Trump administration.

"While the U.S.-China trade war did not impact the PC market in the second quarter of 2019, the next phase of tariffs could have significant impact," said Gartner's Mikako Kitagawa. "Most laptops and tablets are currently manufactured in China and sales of these devices in the U.S. could face significant price increases if the punitive tariffs are imposed and vendors do not take quick action to respond."