Thursday, 17 January, 2019

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 PC sales struggle yet again
Nellie Chapman | 13 January, 2019, 21:16

Sales of personal computers took a knock in the fourth quarter from a combination of microprocessor chip shortages and the ongoing trade war between the USA and China, according to reports today from analyst firms International Data Corp. and Gartner Inc.

However, Lenovo seems to be an exception as the overall market has been stagnant. The company captured the market of 15.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The results slightly outperformed the forecast, which called for a decline of 4.7%, but also produced the largest year-on-year decline since the third quarter of 2016 (3Q16) and capped the full year at a almost flat rate of -0.4%.

Apple remained in the fourth position with market share of 7.2 percent and growth of -3.8 percent.

Heading into the quarter there was industry-wide concern over processor shortages and rising economic tensions between the USA and China.

"As demand for Chinese products in the USA drops, this particularly impacts businesses of all sizes from the manufacturing sector in China, which, in turn, translates to a drop in IT purchases by these companies". Lenovo, which retained its spot as the top manufacturer in terms of shipments, saw modest year-over-year growth.

Acer Group took fifth place with market share of 6.7% and a year-on-year decline of 8.5%.

This comes down to the types of devices IDC and Gartner count as PC shipments. Lenovo's PC business recovered in the US. Among other players, HP saw a modest decline in its year-over-year volumes.

Gartner, in its quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2018, reflects similar market developments.

Gartner had more detailed results about the United States market, where Microsoft remains the top 5 PC manufacturer behind HP, Dell, Lenovo and Apple. After the Chinese vendor, HP came second with a 22.4 percent share, a decline of 4.4 percent.

"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues", Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

IDC, which ranked the top four PC makers in the same order, recorded similar shipping and market share figures.

"Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs", she said, and the traditional end-of-year SMB refresh didn't happen.