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Examining the Market as Intel Works on 5G-Enabled PCs

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Apr. 23 2018, Published 1:47 p.m. ET

5G-enabled PCs to start arriving next year

Intel (INTC) announced in February that it was collaborating with Dell (DVMT), HP (HPQ), Lenovo (LNVGY), and Microsoft (MSFT) to bring 5G (fifth generation) connectivity to Windows PCs (personal computers). Intel said it would supply the modem chips to enable 5G connectivity in PC devices to be developed by partners. Intel-based, 5G-enabled mobile laptops should start arriving in 2H19. Intel is working on bringing 5G-enabled PCs just as the global PC market is expected to stage a comeback.

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PC market to expand 0.8% in 2018

Research company Gartner predicts that the worldwide overall PC market, including ultramobile laptops, will expand 0.8% in 2018. This prediction seems to be backed by an IDC report from this month. According to IDC, the global PC market showed resilience in 1Q18, with growth exceeding expectations.

Some 60.4 million desktops, laptops, and workstations were shipped worldwide in 1Q18, flat compared with 1Q17 shipments. Global PC shipments were expected to shrink 1.5% in 1Q18. With a 22.6% share of the market, HP was the world’s top PC vendor in 1Q18. Dell held 16.9% of the market, while Apple held 6.6%.

PC business contributes most of Intel’s revenue

PCs formed Intel’s largest market in 4Q17, with the business generating $9.0 billion in revenue, or 52.6% of its overall revenue. However, the PC market has been weak with the rise in smartphones—Intel’s PC division fell 2.0% year-over-year in 4Q17. Therefore, PC market suppliers are looking to innovations such as 5G-enabled PCs to stimulate growth.

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