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

Daniel Fowler
January 13, 2019

Global shipments of traditional PCs, including desktop, notebooks, and workstations, fell by 3.7 percent in the last three months of the year 2018 when compared with a year earlier, according to a report by research firm IDC.

"Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand", said Mikako Kitagawa, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner. As for the CPU shortage, supplies are expected to continue to be constrained in the first two quarters of 2019, but PC makers should see a rebound ahead of the back-to-school season, IDC says. "We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves". For the year, PC shipments exceeded 259.4 million units, marking a 1.3 percent decline from 2017.

"The majority of the PC shipment decline in 2018 was due to weak consumer PC shipments".

"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.

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. Gartner said that holiday sales were no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs.

Amazon is reportedly developing its own game-streaming platform
But as the wide-open field of game streaming picks up steam, it appears Amazon might see an opportunity to really become a player. No mention was made about a PC version of the service, unfortunately, but it sounds like it's still heavily under development.

Lenovo surpassed HP Inc.to move into the No. 1 position in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Apple came fourth in the list with a market share of 7.2 percent, showing a decline a 3.8 percent year-over-year.

"The market stabilisation in 2018 was attributed to consistent business PC growth, driven by Windows 10 upgrade".

HP Inc. declined 3.2% worldwide mostly due to a challenging quarter in the Americas. "As a result, the PC market in China is expected to suffer bigger declines throughout the year". However, the results also "produced the largest year-on-year decline since the 3Q16 and capped the full year at a almost flat rate of -0.4 percent", Newsbytes reported.

USA: The traditional PC market in the US saw a modest uptick in volume from the year prior. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market. The top four firms are the same as Gartner, and Acer replaces Asus in fifth spot.

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