Following two quarters of growth, fourth quarter 2018 PC shipments declined 4.3 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
According to estimates from U.S.-based research firm Gartner, PC shipments in 2018 surpassed an estimated total 259.4 million units — a 1.3 percent decline compared to 2017. Gartner linked the decline to a CPU shortage, as well as global political and economic uncertainty.
Still, the top three PC vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — managed to increase their share of the global PC market despite the decline. Those three companies accounted for 63 percent of PC shipments in Q4 2018, up from 59 percent in Q4 2017.
Lenovo actually managed to move into the number one spot in the global PC market, with Gartner crediting a joint venture with Fujitsu as part of the company’s success. Lenovo also recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit, year-over-year growth.
While Lenovo grew, HP saw a decline in shipments across most key regions, falling from roughly 16 million shipments in Q4 2017 to 15.3 million in Q4 2018.
Apple also saw a decline, falling from an estimated 5.1 million Mac shipped in Q4 2017 to 4.9 million in Q4 2018. However, the company held onto fourth place, placing behind Dell, while placing ahead of Asus and Acer.
IDC also released its shipment estimates, noting a similar decline in global PC shipments and Apple’s Mac business.
It’s important to note that both Gartner’s and IDC’s findings are based on estimated numbers. While both research firms typically produce numbers that closely represent Apple’s and other companies’ sales, the estimates don’t always exactly align with actual numbers.
Unfortunately, Apple’s decision to stop revealing sales numbers means we won’t be able to verify these estimates going forward.
IDC also expects processor supply issues to extend into the first two quarters of 2019, but believes the situation should improve before the back-to-school season begins.