Lenovo leads PC shipments for 4Q18 and for the year overall

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

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

Data provided by Gartner for the quarter indicates that worldwide PC shipments went down 4.3% to 68.6 million units.

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

The big hit, apparently, came from a shortage of processor chips, Gartner senior principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.

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. "The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors' ability to fulfill demand created by business PC upgrades". Overall global shipments were down on the year: 259 million PCs in 2018 compared with 262 million computers in 2017. "We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves". 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).

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"Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs", she said, and the traditional end-of-year SMB refresh didn't happen.

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. In regard to 4Q18, the global market was dominated by three vendors: Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Apple was in a distant fourth position, followed by Asus and Acer. It was also said that the decline of the quarter was the largest since the third quarter of 2016. Due to processor shortages and the trade war with China, shipments declined during the last quarter and across the whole of 2018.

This was the 7th consecutive yearly decline in worldwide PC shipments, although Gartner added that the decline was less steep than the previous three years. "The market stabilization in 2018 was attributed to consistent business PC growth, driven by Windows 10 upgrade".

The top 3 vendors boosted market share and Lenovo was No. 1, according to IDC and Gartner.

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