Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Economy | By

PC shipments drop again, just as things were starting to look up

PC shipments drop again, just as things were starting to look up

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. According to the market research company, worldwide PC shipments reached 68.1 million in Q4, a 3.7% decline year-on-year.

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.

It's not the largest drop around, but it once again paints a rather lacklustre picture for the PC market, which past year actually looked like it was picking up a bit after quarters upon quarters of declining shipments.

In brief: Research firms Gartner and IDC have released figures showing the state of PC sales last year-and it's not good news. For the year, PC sales were down 0.4 percent, or roughly flat.

Whatever the reasons may be, one thing is for certain - 681 million new units were sold in the fourth quarter.

"The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors' ability to fulfil demand created by business PC upgrades". However, IDC tracks shipments of desktop PCs, notebooks (Chromebooks included) and workstations, but they ignore detachable tablets and slate tablets.

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.

IDC's Asia/Pacific Client Devices Group Research Manager Maciek Gornicki separately highlights that the ongoing economic tensions between the U.S. and China are likely to create a lot of uncertainty in the business environment in China.

Lenovo regained its position as the PC vendor with the most sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, an accolade earned by HP in 2017. 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).

HP was the market leader in 2017, with Lenovo being the top vendor for four consecutive years between 2013 and 2016. "Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs". The company is followed by HP with 23.6 per cent share, and Dell, with 16.5 per cent.

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