After losing ground in the smartphone market due to the slower demand for the iPhone, Apple is now declining in the PC market as well, with MacBook sales dropping no less than 3.8% in Q4 2018. Lenovo also had a strong quarter in the USA and has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth.
It's not the largest drop around, but it once again paints a rather lacklustre picture for the PC market, which past year actually looked like it was picking up a bit after quarters upon quarters of declining shipments.
HP fared less well in the fourth quarter, experiencing a shipment decline after four consecutive quarters of growth. Gartner's argument is that there's an overall shortage of processors on the market, which means customers could not meet business PC upgrade demands. While Lenovo's shipments in the quarter grew 5.9 percent, HP managed to grab the No. 2 spot with 22.4 percent market share despite shipping 15.3 million PCs, a 4.4 percent decline.
Worldwide PC shipments fell 4.3 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter to 68.6 million units, and 1.3 percent for full year 2018 to 259.4 million units, according to the latest study from Gartner. The firm expects demand to pick up again in 2019 once CPUs become more readily available.
Additionally, said Kitagawa, political and economic uncertainties in certain countries reduced the demand for PCs. 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%.
Stateside, PC shipments totaled 14.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, which represented a 4.5% decline from the fourth quarter of 2017. Consumer shipments accounted for approximately 40 percent of PC shipments in 2018 compared with 49 percent in 2014. Lenovo's PC business recovered in the US.
This comes down to the types of devices IDC and Gartner count as PC shipments.
Acer Group took fifth place with market share of 6.7% and a year-on-year decline of 8.5%. Dell was second (25.7%), followed by Lenovo (15.2%) and Apple (12.4%). "Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs".