Gart­ner: PC ship­ments slip in 2018

The News-Times - - BUSINESS - By Paul Schott [email protected]; 203-964-2236; twit­ter: @paulschott

STAM­FORD — Per­son­al­com­puter ship­ments dropped 1.3 per­cent in 2018, mark­ing the sev­enth­straight year of de­clines, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased this week by IT con­sult­ing and re­search firm Gart­ner.

The slight de­crease, to about 259 mil­lion units, re­flected a short­age of com­puter pro­cess­ing units and de­mand weakened by po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic doubts in some coun­tries, Gart­ner of­fi­cials said. A 4 per­cent drop in ship­ments in the fourth quar­ter of last year con­trib­uted to the an­nual slide.

“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,” Mikako Kita­gawa, se­nior prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at Gart­ner, said in a state­ment. “Con­sumer de­mand re­mained weak in the hol­i­day sea­son. Hol­i­day sales are no longer a ma­jor fac­tor driv­ing con­sumer de­mand for PCs.”

Kita­gawa said she ex­pected de­mand for busi­ness-PC up­grades to con­tinue in 2019 if CPU avail­abil­ity were to im­prove.

In the U.S., PC ship­ments to­taled about 14 mil­lion units in the fourth quar­ter, down 4.5 per­cent from a year ago. Four of the top six PC man­u­fac­tur­ers saw their U.S. de­liv­er­ies fall dur­ing that pe­riod.

“The fourth quar­ter is typ­i­cally a buy­ing sea­son for small of­fice/home of­fice and small busi­ness buy­ers in the U.S. as they want to use up the un­touched bud­get be­fore the tax year ends,” Kita­gawa said. “Our early in­di­ca­tor showed that small of­fice/home of­fice and small busi­ness buy­ers held off on some new PC pur­chases due to un­cer­tain­ties around the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­di­tions.”

The top three PC mak­ers in­creased their share of the global mar­ket. Len­ovo, HP and Dell ac­counted for 63 per­cent of ship­ments in the fourth quar­ter, up from 59 per­cent a year ago.

Len­ovo sur­passed HP to be­come the top global PC seller in the fourth quar­ter and all of 2018, with more than 58 mil­lion ship­ments in the past year. Gart­ner at­trib­uted Len­ovo’s gain, in large part, to a joint ven­ture launched last year with an­other tech­nol­ogy pow­er­house, Fu­jitsu.

The com­pany has recorded three straight quar­ters of dou­ble-digit ship­ment growth.

Amid its ex­pan­sion, Len­ovo has faced some set­backs. Last year, it re­called about 78,000 ThinkPad X1 Car­bon lap­tops be­cause they might have con­tained an un­fas­tened screw that could have over­heated their bat­ter­ies, which could have cre­ated a fire haz­ard.

Michael Cummo / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Gart­ner is head­quar­tered at 56 Top Gal­lant Road in Stam­ford.

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