Lenovo leads Q4 2018 global shipments, Apple retains fourth position

Gartner: Not a very merry Christmas for PC market as chip shortage bites, small biz vanishes

That's according to Gartner, which found that global PC shipments declined 4.3% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the same period in 2018.

Just when the PC market found its footing the us trade war with China and processor shortages put the kibosh on unit sales, according to stats from both IDC and Gartner. The company also says that it expects demand to improve in 2019, as CPUs become more available.

Gartner got nearly the same results with 68.6 million PC shipments during the same period (down 4.3% year-over-year). 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, she said.

Globally, ASUS, Apple, and Acer suffered the greatest declines, as the table below shows, but the only two vendors to manage year-on-year growth were Dell and Lenovo (the latter knocked HP Inc off the number-one spot in Q4 2018).

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A major factor for Lenovo's share gain was credited to a joint venture with Fujitsu formed in May 2018. Region-wise, the US saw a small increase in volume from the previous year, 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.

Gartner has published a report detailing preliminary estimates of PCs shipped worldwide for the final quarter of 2018 and for the year as a whole. For the year, PC sales were down 0.4 percent, or roughly flat. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market, Gartner said. The research firm highlights that Lenovo led the market in the quarter with a market share of 24.2 percent, showing a 5.9 percent increase year-over-year. Consumer shipments accounted for approximately 40 percent of PC shipments in 2018 compared with 49 percent in 2014. Dell was second (25.7%), followed by Lenovo (15.2%) and Apple (12.4%).

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.

Acer Group took fifth place with market share of 6.7 percent and decline of 8.5 percent.

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