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Worldwide PC shipments have declined further in 2018, exacerbated by existing inventory and processor supply woes

By Wong Chung Wee - on 14 Jan 2019, 10:23am

Worldwide PC shipments have declined further in 2018, exacerbated by existing inventory and processor supply woes

(Image source: Lenovo)

According to research firms Gartner and IDC, worldwide PC shipments haves declined year-on-year for 2018. Gartner stated PC shipments for 2018 “surpassed 259.4 million units, a 1.3% decline from 2017.” IDC registered a lower figure, 258.5 million units for 2018 PC shipments; however, the firm’s stated year-on-year decline was “a nearly flat rate” of -0.4%.

(Image source: IDC)

For the last quarter of 2018, i.e., the holiday season, worldwide PC shipments stood approximately 68 million units, and IDC registered a 3.7% decline, in comparison with the same quarter of 2017. Gartner stated the decline was 4.3%. Both firms agreed that Lenovo was the top PC vendor in Q4 2018 and its market share, for that quarter, stood at roughly 24%.

(Image source: Gartner)

When it came to the crowning of the market leader, the two firms’ choice differed, IDC ranked HP first, with Lenovo as a close second, while Gartner’s results were the opposite, with Lenovo pulling ahead of HP with a wider margin.

According to IDC, “industry-wide concern over processor shortages and rising economic tensions between the U.S. and China” lead to “aggressive stocking of inventory” by PC vendors. The challenges in selling their overstocked supply, lead to reduction of Q4 shipments in “some regions.” Gartner wrote that a “shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues.” This was exacerbated by “political and economic uncertainties in some countries” that lead to a decline in PC demand.

Garter reported 2018 was the “7th consecutive year of worldwide PC shipment decline but it was less steep compared with the past three years.” As mentioned earlier, IDC’s reported year-on-year decline was almost flat. This may point to market stabilization, in line with Garter’s view for 2018, “where consistent business PC growth was driven by Windows 10 upgrade.” In general, Garter is more optimistic about the PC market than IDC. According to both firms, their results are preliminary and final figures will be available to paying clients and subscribers.

(Source: IDC via BusinessWire, Gartner)