PC shipments fell throughout 2018

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

"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues", said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. The demand existed, the market research firm says, only that the said shortage "affected vendors' ability to fulfill demand created by business PC upgrades".

Gartner got nearly the same results with 68.6 million PC shipments during the same period (down 4.3% year-over-year).

Garner reported that worldwide PC shipments totalled 68.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 4.3% decline from the fourth quarter of 2017.

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.

Lenovo grabbed the top PC shipping spot in the fourth quarter. Lenovo, on the other hand, maintained its lead in the global PC market.

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.

"Our early indicator showed that SOHO and small business buyers held off on some new PC purchases due to uncertainties around the political and economic conditions". Lenovo also had a strong quarter in the US.

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

"There was even uncertainty in the U.S. - where the overall economy has been strong - among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs)", she said.

"While the processor supply challenges are expected to continue into the first two quarters of 2019, PC makers are likely to see the situation improve before the back-to-school season begins during the latter half of the year", IDC Senior Research Analyst Neha Mahajan said in a statement. "Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs". Dell, in contrast, had the strongest year-over-year growth among the top five OEMs with a 1.6 percent increase in quarterly shipments.

IDC, which ranked the top four PC makers in the same order, recorded similar shipping and market share figures.

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