PC shipments tumble in 2018's last quarter: Gartner

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PC shipments tumble in 2018's last quarter: Gartner

PC shipments for the fourth quarter in 2018 have dipped almost 5 percent in the Asia-Pacific region and are down 4 percent worldwide, according to recent data from analyst firm Gartner.

PC shipments in the APAC market totalled 24.2 million units for the period, which represented a 4.6 percent decline year over year. Gartner attributea the decline to cautionary demand due to uncertainties in US-China trade relations and a volatile equity market.

Global shipments totalled 68.6 million units for the fourth quarter, a 4.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2017. 

For the year, global PC shipments were 259.4 million units, a 1.3 percent decrease year on year, and the seventh consecutive year of global PC shipment decline, despite signs for optimism for the market from Gartner analysts. The figures do represent less of a decrease than it has been in the past, though.

“Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs created supply chain issues. After two quarters of growth in 2Q18 and 3Q18, PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter,” said Gartner senior principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.

“The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors’ ability to fulfill demand created by business PC upgrades. We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves.

“Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand. There was even uncertainty in the US — where the overall economy has been strong — among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses. Consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season. Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs.”

For the fourth quarter globally, Lenovo was the market leader, shipping 16.6 million units, followed by HP with 15.4 million units, then Dell with 11 million units.

Garner's PC data includes desktop PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads.

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