Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

PC shipments fell throughout 2018

PC shipments fell throughout 2018

Despite showing growth in the second and third quarters, Gartner said 2018 was the seventh year PC shipments experienced annual declines, though the 1.3 percent fall to 259 million units wasn't as bad as the previous three years. Among other players, HP saw a modest decline in its year-over-year volumes. The Japan region, however, helped all the major OEMs to mark growth.

According to both IDC and Gartner, PC sales are down.

The report was published by Gartner earlier today which noted a significant drop in the shipments. The company captured the market of 15.7 percent in the fourth quarter. For the year, PC sales were down 0.4 percent, or roughly flat. However, IDC tracks shipments of desktop PCs, notebooks (Chromebooks included) and workstations, but they ignore detachable tablets and slate tablets. Moreover, Acer took fifth place with a market share of 6.7 percent and a year-over-year decline of 8.5 percent.

IDC writes that vendors aggressively built up their inventories heading into Q3 as concerns over processor shortages and the trade war increased.

While we can't comment on political influences on the PC market, with AMD and Intel kicking out or on the brink of releasing new processors, the lack of CPU supply should improve this year.

"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. The rest of the top six was made up of Apple, Asus, and Acer.

"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs created supply chain issues". The PC industry is driven by consumer demand in the fourth quarter, but a rocky stock market and volatility hampered demand. Dell is third with 10.9 million units sold and 15.9% share, while Apple is only fourth, and far behind the top three, with just 4.9 million units shipped during the quarter and a share of just 7.2%, more than half of Dell. "Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs".

HP was the market leader in 2017, with Lenovo being the top vendor for four consecutive years between 2013 and 2016.

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