Gartner estimates worldwide PC shipments would fall 4.3 percent to 68.6 million units in Q4 2018.
"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues", Kitagawa notes in the new report. The fourth quarter is typically oriented toward consumer promotions that help drive the industry's biggest quarter of the year, but the confluence of events in 2018 led to the lowest sequential growth for a holiday quarter since the fourth quarter of 2012. Gartner, however, expects the demand to 2019 will continue. Kitagawa put this down to two factors: economic uncertainty among small to medium businesses and weak holiday purchases.
"Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand", Kitagawa said.
The top 3 vendors boosted their share of the global PC market as Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell accounted for 63% of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 59% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Gartner largely attributed Lenovo's gains to a joint venture with Fujitsu. Region-wise, the US saw a small increase in volume from the a year ago, whereas it was all negative in the Europe Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region and the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, saw a single-digit decline - majorly due to the US-China trade war.
Mac shipments themselves declined 3.8 percents over Q4 and declined 2.1 percent over the year. Lenovo was the number one, with 24.6 per cent market share for the quarter. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market.
It's not the largest drop around, but it once again paints a rather lacklustre picture for the PC market, which previous year actually looked like it was picking up a bit after quarters upon quarters of declining shipments. Dell, sitting in third, also saw its shipments grow during the quarter. HP came on second with 22.4% of the market and was followed by Dell at 15.9% market share.
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. Asus shipments sank 10.7 percent to 4.211 million, while its market share declined to 6.1 percent from 6.6 percent.