PC shipments declined in 2018 for 7th consecutive year

Gartner: Not a very merry Christmas for PC market as chip shortage bites, small biz vanishes

Gartner analysts said there were signs for optimism in 2018, but the industry was impacted by two key trends.

"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues", said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

For the holiday period, Gartner has worldwide PC shipments at 68.6 million units, down 4.3 percent YoY. According to the market research company, the Redmond giant had a 3.3% market share in the United States in Q4 2018 with 472K PC shipments, down 12.9% year-over-year.

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. After two quarters of growth in 2Q18 and 3Q18, PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter.

Also weighing on the market were political and economic uncertainties among small- and midsize businesses.

This was due to a strong quarter in the USA for Lenovo, whereas HP suffered declines in shipments in most key regions - with Asia being the notable exception. However, HP that came second on the list with a share of identical 23.4 percent, as of Lenovo, shows a decline of 3.2 percent year-over-year "due to a challenging quarter in the Americas".


As for the annual state of affairs, Lenovo shipped almost 58.5 million PCs in 2018, with HP not too far behind with 56.3 million units shipped.

"There was even uncertainty in the USA - where the overall economy has been strong - among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs)", she said. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market.

Only Lenovo, which moved ahead of HP to become the quarter's top vendor, and third place Dell showed growth compared to Q4 2017.

Now that 2018 is past us, we finally have some data about PC sales during the holiday seasons, and they're not looking really good.

"The market stabilisation in 2018 was attributed to consistent business PC growth, driven by Windows 10 upgrade". The research firm highlights that Lenovo led the market in the quarter with a market share of 24.2 percent, showing a 5.9 percent increase year-over-year.

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