HISTORY TENDS TO REPEAT ITSELF, at least it does when it comes to worldwide PC shipments, which surprise, surprise have slumped again.
According to Gartner's latest shipment figures for the last quarter of 2018, shipments dropped 4.3 per cent compared to the same quarter in last year. In big numbers that means shipments fell from 71,696,000 to 68,626,000.
It's not the largest drop around, but it once again paints a rather lacklustre picture for the PC market, which last year actually looked like it was picking up a bit after quarters upon quarters of declining shipments.
The reason for the decline according to Gartner is due to a shortage of processors and economic and political uncertainties.
"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs created supply chain issues. After two quarters of growth in 2Q18 and 3Q18, PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter," said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. "The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors' ability to fulfil demand created by business PC upgrades. We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves."
"Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand," Kitagawa said. "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). Consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season. Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs."
While we can't comment on political influences on the PC market, with AMD and Intel kicking out or on the brink of releasing new processors, the lack of CPU supply should improve this year.
As for the breakdown of shipments between vendors, Lenovo sits in first place with 24.2 per cent of the market, HP Inc takes the silver spot with a 22.4 per cent market share, and Dell is in third position with 15.9 per cent of the market.
Out of the top six vendors, only Lenovo and Dell saw growth in shipments. Despite showing off the new MacBook Air, Apple's shipments dropped by 3.8 per cent.
While things don't look that rosy for the PC market, there's a whole suite of updated machines shown off at CES with Nvidia's latest GeForce RTX cards, and AMD showed off its new Radeon 7 GPUs, so there's scope for more PCs to ship this year as graphics card refreshes come into effect. µ
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