Worldwide PC shipments flat in 3Q 2018: Gartner

CPU shortage could bring new challenges to PC market but will not impact demand, research firm says

Gartner, PC, Market research

PC shipments were flat in the third quarter of 2018, dragged down by declining consumer demand, Gartner has said in its latest report.

According to the research firm, worldwide PC shipments increased by only 0.1% from the third quarters, for a total of 67.2 million units.

“The PC market continued to be driven by steady corporate PC demand, which was driven by Windows 10 PC hardware upgrades. We expect the Windows 10 upgrade cycle to continue through 2020 at which point the upgrade demand will diminish,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Despite the third quarter typically showing strong consumer PC sales due to the back-to-school season, weakness in consumer PC demand continued, offsetting the strong sales in the business market.”

PC shipments in EMEA reached 18.9 million units in the third quarter of 2018, a 1.1% increase year over year. Consumer PC demand overall continued to decline, while sales of business PCs remained the one thing sustaining the market. However, demand driven by Windows 10 upgrades in Western Europe is expected to slow going forward.

Lenovo secured the top spot in the worldwide PC market with growth of 10.7%, driven by regained traction in the commercial market and its joint venture with Fujitsu. HP Inc. dropped to the second position, but recorded its fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment growth. HP showed strong desktop shipment growth, which indicated strong demand among corporate buyers.

Dell experienced its 10th consecutive quarter of shipment growth, with growth of 5.3 % in the third quarter of 2018. Dell did well in EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Japan, showing growth in both desktop and mobile PCs in these regions. However, Dell’s shipments declined in Latin America and the U.S. due to the weakness in the mobile PC market.

Although the third-quarter results did not show any material impact, the Intel CPU shortage could influence the PC market moving forward with price increases and changes to the vendor landscape. “While this shortage will have some short-term impacts, Gartner does not see any lasting impact on overall PC demand. Current expectation is that the shortage will continue into 2019, but Intel will prioritize the high-end CPU as well as the CPUs for business PCs. In the meantime, AMD will pick up the part of the market where Intel cannot supply CPUs,” said Kitagawa.

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