Apple Going Down in PC Market Too as MacBooks Lose Ground

Irving Hamilton
January 13, 2019

Gartner estimates worldwide PC shipments would fall 4.3 percent to 68.6 million units in Q4 2018. But a volatile stock market and a post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday downturn saw "the lowest sequential growth for a holiday quarter since the fourth quarter of 2012". Lenovo, on the other hand, maintained its lead in the global PC market. Lenovo also had a strong quarter in the U.S. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market.

This according to the latest preliminary research from Gartner, which said on Friday that global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of previous year totalled 68.6 million units.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Lenovo's PC shipments went up 5.9 percent, reaching 16.628 million units and market share raised to 24.2 percent from 21.9 percent in the same period of 2017.

Apple remained in the fourth position with market share of 7.2 percent and growth of -3.8 percent. Japan had an especially strong quarter driven by commercial refresh, which lifted virtually all aspects of the market. For the year, PC sales were down 0.4 percent, or roughly flat. Consumer shipments accounted for approximately 40 percent of PC shipments in 2018 compared with 49 percent in 2014.

Both firms point to a shortage of CPUs and mounting trade tensions between the US and China as causes for the decline.

According to both IDC and Gartner, PC sales are down.

IDC's Asia/Pacific Client Devices Group Research Manager Maciek Gornicki separately highlights that the ongoing economic tensions between the United States and China are likely to create a lot of uncertainty in the business environment in China.

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ZDNet, on the other hand, lays the blame on the ongoing trade war between the USA and China.

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

Lenovo surpassed HP to move into the number one position in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 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.

"There was even uncertainty in the USA - where the overall economy has been strong - among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs)".

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.

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