PC shipments worldwide are flat, with headwinds for consumer preferences for tablets and smartphones. China-based Lenovo has taken the lead in market share, leaving America’s HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) in second place.
In the third quarter, shipments worldwide rose only 0.1% to 67.2 million. Commenting on the trend, Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, 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.
Lenovo’s success was driven by a 10.7% rise in unit sales to 15.9 million, which gave it 23.6% of the market. HP’s shipments rose only 6.2% to 14.6 million. Dell shipments rose 5.3% to 10.7 million. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) posted a weak quarter with shipments down 8.5% to 4.9 million.
The large Chinese manufacturers suffered losses. Shipment by Acer fell 5.7% to 4.0 million. Shipments by Asus dropped 15.9% to 4.0 million.
Lenovo and HP took different paths to the top of the industry. According to Gartner’s analysis:
Lenovo secured the top spot in the worldwide PC market with growth of 10.7 percent, 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. HP showed strong desktop shipment growth, which indicated strong demand among corporate buyers.
The industry has become a market share grab, which is a tough game when the market is not growing.
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q18 (Thousands of Units)
|Company||3Q18 Shipments||3Q18 Market Share (%)||3Q17 Shipments||3Q17 Market Share (%)||3Q18-3Q17 Growth (%)|
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding. *Lenovo’s results include Fujitsu’s units starting in 2Q18 to reflect the joint venture that closed in May 2018. Source: Gartner (October 2018).