The global PC market ended 2018 with 68.6 million units shipped in Q4, a 4.3 year-over-year drop, according to the Gartner research group.
The entire year saw almost 260 million units shipped, a 1.3 percent drop over all four quarters of 2017.
After years of continually sliding sales – as OEMs struggled to woo consumers and business users – with current generation PC models lasting longer, and many users spending more time on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
“Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues. After two quarters of growth in 2Q18 and 3Q18, PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter. The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors’ ability to fulfill demand created by business PC upgrades. We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves.”Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner
Lenovo leapfrogged HP to become the No. 1 PC manufacturer based on shipments, with Dell rounding out the top three. The trio collectively controlled 63 percent of the market.
In the United States, Q4 sales totaled just 14.2M units shipped, a 4.5 percent year-over-year decline – and it looks like small office/home office (SOHO) and small business owners elected to wait on purchasing new PCs, as political and economic conditions intensified.