PC shipments declined in 2018 for 7th consecutive year

Marco Green
January 12, 2019

According to Gartner numbers published today, vendors suffered a year-long decline of 1.3 per cent in shipments to 259.4 million units, and in the final quarter, shipments of 68.6 million units were down 4.3 per cent in what is supposed to be the busiest time of the year for sales.

Just when the PC market found its footing the US trade war with China and processor shortages put the kibosh on unit sales, according to stats from both IDC and Gartner.

Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues.

Kitagawa added that the second and third quarters of 2018 both showed growth relative to 2017, and it was the fourth quarter decline that pulled 2018's sales below 2017's.

What's worse for Apple is that sales declined from 5.1 million units in the same quarter of the year before, while in the United States, MacBook shipments dropped from 1.8 million to 1.76 million units.

Gartner noted that PC makers were also hit by the processor shortage since they couldn't meet business PC upgrade demand. "Our early indicator showed that SOHO and small business buyers held off on some new PC purchases due to uncertainties around the political and economic conditions".

"There was even uncertainty in the U.S. - where the overall economy has been strong - among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs)".

After losing ground in the smartphone market due to the slower demand for the iPhone, Apple is now declining in the PC market as well, with MacBook sales dropping no less than 3.8% in Q4 2018.

The top 3 vendors boosted their share of the global PC market as Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell accounted for 63% of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 59% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

A major factor for Lenovo's share gain was credited to a joint venture with Fujitsu formed in May 2018.

Lenovo grabbed the top PC shipping spot in the fourth quarter.

For the holiday period, Gartner has worldwide PC shipments at 68.6 million units, down 4.3 percent YoY.

IDC, which ranked the top four PC makers in the same order, recorded similar shipping and market share figures.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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