PC shipments saw their biggest year-on-year dip since 2016 in Q4 2018, according to new reports issued by market research firms IDC and Gartner. According to both firms, worldwide PC shipments came in at around 68 million units during Q4, declining either 3.7 percent (IDC) or 4.3 percent (Gartner) year-over-year, depending on the methodology used (via ZDNet).
Both firms point to a shortage of CPUs and mounting trade tensions between the U.S. and China as causes for the decline. From IDC:
Looking forward, analysts for IDC expect China to see further declines throughout the year, with the effect spilling over into other countries if trade tensions continue to rise. As for the CPU shortage, supplies are expected to continue to be constrained in the first two quarters of 2019, but PC makers should see a rebound ahead of the back-to-school season, IDC says.
Things weren't dire for every PC manufacturer, however. Lenovo, which retained its spot as the top manufacturer in terms of shipments, saw modest year-over-year growth. Dell, sitting in third, also saw its shipments grow during the quarter. HP, Apple, and Acer, taking the second, fourth, and fifth spots, respectively, each saw declines.
It's worth noting that, while both firms saw the same overall trends, their exact numbers differ slightly. This comes down to the types of devices IDC and Gartner count as PC shipments. Gartner's data includes Windows desktops, notebooks, and tablets, but not Chromebooks. IDC, meanwhile, counts Windows desktops, laptops, and Chromebooks, but excludes Windows tablets and detachables.
Traitor Trump now ruining any chance for PCs to regain momentum with consumers.
Based on the exclusions, I'd put more credence on Gartner's figures. Chromebooks are just glorified web browsers with android emulation at this point. IDC not counting windows tablets and detachables… is just asinine imo as at present almost all windows tablets and detachables are x86 based therefore capable of running Win32 applications.
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