Global PC Sales Tumble in Q1

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Personal computer sales dropped 4.6% around the world in the first quarter of 2019. This took units shipped to 58.5 million, according to research firm Gartner.

The problem was not entirely demand based. According to Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner: “We saw the start of a rebound in PC shipments in mid-2018, but anticipation of a disruption by CPU shortages impacted all PC markets as vendors allocated to the higher-margin business and Chromebook segment.” Consumer weakness pulled down the numbers. Gartner experts said the exception was Google Chromebooks. Shipments of these increased by double digits.

Lenovo, HP and Dell dominated the market. The companies had 61.5% of the shipments in the first quarter, up from 59.6% last year. China-based Lenovo has 22.5% of the global market. HP has 21.9% and Dell had 17.6%. This was followed by Apple at 6.8%. It was the only of the top four with a decline in the number of shipments.

Finally, business demand partially offset the lackluster results from consumers. Kitagawa said that business PC demand remained strong throughout the first quarter of 2019 across most key regions. The PC refresh driven by Windows 10 was a driving force of business PC growth over the past three years, but Gartner forecasts that 2019 will be the last year in which shipments will be affected by this refresh. “While PC shipment results in the first quarter of 2019 indicated that the business PC segment still showed strong demand, weak mobile PC results could be the indicator that the Windows 10 refresh has nearly peaked,” said Kitagawa.

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q19 (Thousands of Units)

Company 1Q19 Shipments 1Q19 Market Share 1Q18 Shipments 1Q18 Market Share Annual Growth
Lenovo 13,196 22.5% 12,343 20.1% 6.9%
HP 12,826 21.9% 12,727 20.7% 0.8%
Dell 9,989 17.6% 9,841 16.0% 1.5%
Apple 3,977 6.8% 4,078 6.6% −2.5%
Asus 3,603 6.2% 3,887 6.3% −7.3%
Acer 3,322 5.7% 3,829 6.2% −13.2%
Others 11,610 19.8% 14,671 23.9% −20.9%
Total 58,523 100% 61,375 100% −4.6%

Source: Gartner (April 2019)
Note: 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.

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