PC shipments fall during holiday season and across all of 2018

  • PC shipments fall during holiday season and across all of 2018

PC shipments fall during holiday season and across all of 2018

IDC reported that shipments of traditional PCs came in at 68.1 million units in the fourth quarter, down 3.7 percent from a year ago.

What's worse for Apple is that sales declined from 5.1 million units in the same quarter of the year before, while in the United States, MacBook shipments dropped from 1.8 million to 1.76 million units. Gartner's argument is that there's an overall shortage of processors on the market, which means customers could not meet business PC upgrade demands.

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 fulfil demand created by business PC upgrades. Consumer shipments accounted for approximately 40 percent of PC shipments in 2018 compared with representing 49 percent of shipments in 2014", Gartner senior principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said. Gartner expects demand to improve in 2019 as CPUs become more available.

Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand. "Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs".

Globally, ASUS, Apple, and Acer suffered the greatest declines, as the table below shows, but the only two vendors to manage year-on-year growth were Dell and Lenovo (the latter knocked HP Inc off the number-one spot in Q4 2018).

The global PC market returned to its familiar downward slope in the fourth quarter, according to preliminary numbers from market analysts. It was also said that the decline of the quarter was the largest since the third quarter of 2016. However, Lenovo, HP, and Dell enjoyed shipment growth over the year at the expense of all the other manufacturers. Due to processor shortages and the trade war with China, shipments declined during the last quarter and across the whole of 2018.

For the holiday period, Gartner has worldwide PC shipments at 68.6 million units, down 4.3 percent YoY.

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