To the chagrin of Apple and its rivals, sales of personal computers continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 2018.
That’s according to Gartner, which found that global PC shipments declined 4.3% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the same period in 2018. That works out to about 68.6 million computers sold during the most recent quarter.
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.
Of note, mobile isn’t solely to blame for the continued decline in sales.
Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner, believes the sluggish sales are a product of political and economic uncertainties around the world, combined with an ongoing CPU shortage.
“Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues,” Kitagawa notes in the new report. “The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors’ ability to fulfill demand created by business PC upgrades.”
Regarding the shaky state of world affairs, Kitagawa remarked: “There was even uncertainty in the U.S. -- where the overall economy has been strong -- among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs).”
Worse yet, US. consumer demand remained weak throughout this past holiday season.
The top three vendors boosted their share of the global PC market as Lenovo, HP and Dell accounted for 63% of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of the year -- up from 59% in the fourth quarter of 2017.Worldwide, Lenovo surpassed HP to become the top seller of PCs in the fourth quarter of 2018. Gartner largely attributed Lenovo’s gains to a joint venture with Fujitsu.