Gartner reports that worldwide PC shipments totaled 259.4 million units in 2018 – a 1.3% decline from 2017.
This was the 7th consecutive yearly decline in worldwide PC shipments, although Gartner added that the decline was less steep than the previous three years.
The 4th quarter of 2018 was particularly weak compared to previous years, declining by 4.3% year on year to 68.6 million unit sales.
According to Gartner, the PC sales industry was influenced negatively by two trends.
“Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs created supply chain issues,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.
Kitagawa added that the second and third quarters of 2018 both showed growth relative to 2017, and it was the fourth quarter decline that pulled 2018’s sales below 2017’s.
Additionally, said Kitagawa, political and economic uncertainties in certain countries reduced the demand for PCs.
“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),” she said.
Additionally, Gartner reported that the top three PC vendors – Lenovo, HP, and Dell – accounted for 63% of all fourth quarter PC sales in 2018, up from 59% in 2017.
Lenovo regained its position as the PC vendor with the most sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, an accolade earned by HP in 2017.
This was due to a strong quarter in the US for Lenovo, whereas HP suffered declines in shipments in most key regions – with Asia being the notable exception.