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Gartner finds PC sales doldrums continued in 2018

Gartner released its quarterly PC sales survey for the fourth quarter of 2018 this week, and it was the same old story. PC sales plunged in the fourth quarter and were down 1.3 percent for the year. The three top players — HP, Dell and Lenovo — accounted for 63 percent of sales worldwide in the quarter.
The company found in their preliminary sales research that worldwide sales totaled totaled 68.6 million units in the fourth quarter. That may sound like a big number, but it’s down 4.3 percent over the same period last year.
Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said after a couple of quarters of modest growth, the market began to slow down again for a number or reasons including political and economic uncertainty and a CPU shortage. “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). Consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season. Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs,” she said in a statement.
That could be because consumers are spending much more time on mobile phones. Many tasks whether shopping, email, banking or social media that once required a home PC can easily be done on a mobile phone now, leaving PCs to the realm of business where it isn’t always practical to do work on a smaller footprint. In fact, Black Friday online shopping totaled $6.1 billion this year with mobile phones accounting for $2.1 billion.
The trade war that has adversely affected Apple and other tech companies probably also had an impact on the PC market.
Lenovo was the biggest winner in the worldwide report, achieving 24.2 percent of marketshare with number of units sold up 5.9 percent from last year. HP had 22.4 percent marketshare but its numbers were down -4.4 percent. Dell came in third with 15.9 percent with marketshare up a modest 1.4 percent.
Gartner finds PC sales doldrums continued in 2018
Chart: Courtesy of Gartner
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