Gartner has published its provisional PC vendor sales data for 2018, showing that Chinese PC brand Lenovo has regained its position as the global market leader.
Garner reported that worldwide PC shipments totalled 68.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 4.3% decline from the fourth quarter of 2017.
For the year, 2018 PC shipments surpassed 259.4 million units, a 1.3% decline from 2017.
Gartner analysts said there were signs for optimism in 2018, but the industry was impacted by two key trends.
“Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues. After two quarters of growth in 2Q18 and 3Q18, PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.
“The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors’ ability to fulfil demand created by business PC upgrades. We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves.”
The other trend was political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampening PC demand, Kitagawa said.
“There was even uncertainty in the US — 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. Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs.”
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.
Lenovo surpassed HP Inc. to move into the No. 1 position in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 2018.
A major factor for Lenovo’s share gain was credited to a joint venture with Fujitsu formed in May 2018. Lenovo also had a strong quarter in the US. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market.
2018 marked the seventh consecutive year of worldwide PC shipment decline, Gartner noted.
“The majority of the PC shipment decline in 2018 was due to weak consumer PC shipments. Consumer shipments accounted for approximately 40% of PC shipments in 2018 compared with representing 49% of shipments in 2014,” Kitagawa said.
“The market stabilisation in 2018 was attributed to consistent business PC growth, driven by Windows 10 upgrade.”
HP was the market leader in 2017, with Lenovo being the top vendor for four consecutive years between 2013 and 2016.