PC market remains flat

Weak consumer demand.

Worldwide personal computer (PC) shipments totaled 67.2 million units in the third quarter of 2018, a marginal 0.1% increase from the third quarter of 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The global market has shown modest stability for two consecutive quarters.

Gartner principal analyst, Mikako Kitagawa said, “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.

“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.

“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.”

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. Dell experienced its 10th consecutive quarter of shipment growth, with growth of 5.3% in the third quarter of 2018.

PC demand from the commercial segment buoyed the market. Though the consumer segment continued to be challenging in terms of unit sales, demand remained at the midrange to premium price points, signaling purchases from consumers who look for features, functions and quality built for specific needs.

Final statistics will soon be available to Gartner PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program clients.

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