Just when the PC market found its footing the USA trade war with China and processor shortages put the kibosh on unit sales, according to stats from both IDC and Gartner. Unfortunately, things aren't looking good for the PC manufacturers as this is the seventh consecutive year of worldwide PC shipment decline. Due to processor shortages and the trade war with China, shipments declined during the last quarter and across the whole of 2018.
IDC's figures were only slightly better.
Apple's market share of 7.2 percent was a distant fourth, declining 3.8 percent on 4.9 million units shipped. The top four firms are the same as Gartner, and Acer replaces Asus in fifth spot.
According to IDC, vendors built inventory in the third quarter ahead of processor shortages and the trade war. 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".
Data provided by Gartner for the quarter indicates that worldwide PC shipments went down 4.3% to 68.6 million units.
"The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors' ability to fulfil demand created by business PC upgrades". The company also says that it expects demand to improve in 2019, as CPUs become more available. Additionally, the top three companies showed growth.
What's worse for Apple is that sales declined from 5.1 million units in the same quarter of the year before, while in the United States, MacBook shipments dropped from 1.8 million to 1.76 million units.
This was due to a strong quarter in the U.S. for Lenovo, whereas HP suffered declines in shipments in most key regions - with Asia being the notable exception. Consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season.
"The market stabilisation in 2018 was attributed to consistent business PC growth, driven by Windows 10 upgrade".