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

"The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors' ability to fulfil demand created by business PC upgrades".

The New Year brought bad news for PC manufacturers as shipments dropped by 4.3% in Q4 of 2018 and 1.3% for the year.

Lenovo remained the leading company with 16.6 million units sold and a 24.2% market share, followed by HP with 15.3 million units and 22.4% share.

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

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Additionally, said Kitagawa, political and economic uncertainties in certain countries reduced the demand for PCs. Region-wise, the US saw a small increase in volume from the a year ago, whereas it was all negative in the Europe Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region and the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, saw a single-digit decline - majorly due to the US-China trade war.

Gartner has published a report detailing preliminary estimates of PCs shipped worldwide for the final quarter of 2018 and for the year as a whole. It has YoY growth for the quarter down 3.7 percent, with 68.1 million units shipped. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market.

"The ongoing economic tensions between China and the United States continue to create a lot of uncertainty in the business environment in China", IDC Research Manager Maciek Gornicki said in a statement. There was even uncertainty in the US - where the overall economy has been strong - among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

Gartner, in its quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2018, reflects similar market developments. Apple market share fell in the fourth quarter globally compared to a year ago, but slightly increased in the U.S. Here's the global standings via IDC: PC makers rolled out new models at CES 2019. "Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs".

In the US, HP was the top vendor for 4Q18, taking 33.4% market share.

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