Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

PC shipments declined in 2018 for 7th consecutive year

PC shipments declined in 2018 for 7th consecutive year

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.

The Asia/Pacific PC market totaled 24.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 4.6 percent decline from the same period of 2017.

"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs created supply chain issues", said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

The market was largely flat the previous two quarters, leading to mild optimism that it could be stabilizing after six years of uninterrupted declines. In China, the commercial PC market came in below expectations, impacted by Intel CPU shortages and slowness in spending from the public sector, while U.S. "We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves".

Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand.

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Regarding the shaky state of world affairs, Kitagawa remarked: "There was even uncertainty in the USA - where the overall economy has been strong - among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs)". Consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season.

Overall, went back to the market to 2018, year-on-year 1.3 percent.

Gartner had more detailed results about the USA market, where Microsoft remains the top 5 PC manufacturer behind HP, Dell, Lenovo and Apple. Gartner largely attributed Lenovo's gains to a joint venture with Fujitsu. Lenovo also had a strong quarter in the US and has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market, Gartner said. IDC says that both desktop and notebook shipments from the Cupertino company saw year-over-year-year declines in the fourth quarter.

Nonetheless, the market performed better than expected, with corporate PC refresh-driven by the looming Windows 7 end of life (EOL) in January 2020-helping to offset consumer market challenges. In regard to 4Q18, the global market was dominated by three vendors: Lenovo, HP, and Dell.

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