Gartner: Apple Mac posts 1.5% growth as worldwide PC shipments drop 1.4% in Q118

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 61.7 million units in the first quarter of 2018, a 1.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The PC market experienced a 14th consecutive quarter of decline, dating back to the second quarter of 2012.

Asia/Pacific and the U.S. experienced declining shipments, while other regions saw some minimal growth, but it was not enough to drive overall growth for the PC industry. In the first quarter of 2018, PC shipments in Asia/Pacific declined 3.9 percent compared with the same period last year, while shipments in the U.S. decreased 2.9 percent.

“The major contributor to the decline came from China, where unit shipments declined 5.7 percent year over year,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “This was driven by China’s business market, where some state-owned and large enterprises postponed new purchases or upgrades, awaiting new policies and officials’ reassignments after the session of the National People’s Congress in early March.

“In the first quarter of 2018, there was some inventory carryover from the fourth quarter of 2017,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “At the same time, vendors were cautious in overstocking due to the upcoming release of new models in the second quarter of 2018 with Intel’s new eighth-generation core processors.”

The top three vendors — HP, Lenovo and Dell — accounted for 56.9 percent of global PC shipments in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 54.5 percent of shipments in the first quarter of 2017 (see Table 1). Dell experienced the strongest growth rate among the top six vendors worldwide, as its shipments increased 6.5 percent.

Table 1: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q18 (Thousands of Units)

Gartner: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q18 (Thousands of Units)
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.
Source: Gartner (April 2018)

Rising ASPs

The average selling prices (ASPs) of PCs continue to rise. Acknowledging deceleration in the smartphone market, and uncertainty in PC replacement demand, component companies remain cautious about expanding their production capabilities. Therefore, persistent component shortages and a rising bill of materials continue to create an environment conductive to higher prices.

“In contrast to other DRAM-related price spikes, PC vendors are not reacting by reducing DRAM content. Rather they have passed the cost increase to consumers,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “With fewer people buying new machines, manufacturers need to get the highest profit margin from each sale. To do that, they are raising the selling points and focusing on customer experience or perception of value.”

Regional Overview

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 11.8 million units in the first quarter of 2018, a 2.9 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2017. Dell moved into the No. 1 position in the U.S. based on shipments, as its market share increased to 29.1 percent. HP Inc. moved into the No. 2 position as its shipments declined 4.8 percent, and its market share totaled 28.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 (see Table 2).

Table 2: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q18 (Thousands of Units)

Gartner: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q18 (Thousands of Units)
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.
Source: Gartner (April 2018)

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 18.6 million units in the first quarter of 2018, a 1.7 percent increase year over year. Enterprise shipments increased as many Windows 10 projects that were put on hold in 2017 began to be implemented. The fast approach of the compliance deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, as well as earlier reports of cybersecurity breaches, made security a strong priority in the hardware refresh cycle among enterprises. Eurasia continued to be a bright spot for EMEA, as several countries, such as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, saw strong demand in the first quarter of 2018.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totaled 21.9 million units in the first quarter of 2018, a 3.9 percent decline from the first quarter of 2017. As previously mentioned, the PC market in China drove the decline in Asia/Pacific. There is no significant sign of strong upgrading to the special version of Windows 10 from the Chinese government institutions. Consumer demand was weak as most buyers already took advantage of the aggressive promotions offered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

These results are preliminary.

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Just imagine the numbers if Apple had up-to-date Macs across the board.

Apple’s indomitable Mac is succeeding despite being hamstrung by disinterested management!

9 Comments

      1. Correctomundo! But they did make the iMac Pro I recently bought, and that may have helped goose their sales 🤑 since it’s the best Mac I’ve ever used and other customers thought so too. It is true that their priorities haven’t matched yours and mine for years now, 🙇🏼‍♂️🙇‍♀️ and they have never matched the expectations of the pundits or of the stock market. 🧟‍♂️🤡 Well, we’ll see what they do next. I know they are active on the emoji front — a burgeoning market, bubbling with teenagers. They may be vapid now but when they reach adulthood they will straighten out just as we did;— and they’ll be accustomed to the iOS ecosystem, and 🍎 brand conscious. In their new jobs, given a choice they will take the Mac over the Dell. Maybe that has been their long-term strategy all along, developing loyal cohort groups instead of the customary head-to-head annual competition. If so, sneaky!

        1. Maybe so. Hey Herself does it bother you that Apple may swap out the chip architecture to ARM in the next 2 years having just bought an expensive iMac Pro? Wouldn’t that shorten the life of these iMac Pro’s rather dramatically? Normally I’d expect these iMac Pro’s to be good for 6-8 years or more if Apple stayed on Intel.

          I figure all this makes sense to essentially move to another system while this one figures itself out. In the meantime I’ll have something more stable and of course in the form I want.

          I’m curious too what form Apple takes with “workflow” & “modular” and what that will really mean? Or is that’s going to be just another screamfest disappointment for pros, complete with angry pro mobs with torches and pitchforks marching on Cupertino.

          1. Makes sense to move to another system while the drama plays itself out. You and I can be happy for a change. Waiting for Apple to deliver something we expected and needed, only to be told oh, something came up, so sorry it didn’t work out, etc. — infuriating. Being strung along like that is reprehensible and they didn’t appear to understand that it was humiliating, like being stood up for a date, something like in the Genesis song “Misunderstanding.” “I waited in the rain for hours.. you were late.”

            I don’t care for these rumours of abandoning Intel for ARM. To me they are scare stories, nothing more. It would be more intelligent to reconstitute the PowerPC consortium and research RISC chip technology, as Derek Currie advocates. Some of the heat issues with CISC, as well as lower yields due to complexity would recommend such a re-examination. The A series have been brilliant but their goal was low power for mobile. That seems to me like initiatives flying off in different directions.

            You can be sure that this new workflow thing is something new and different. Apple didn’t use focus groups. Neither did Henry Ford. Visionaries don’t ask ordinary, unimaginative people for help dreaming up new products. But Ford, Edison and Jobs are dead. This workflow thing of Apple’s is an acknowledgement of that, and that they now need help in coming up with the next big thing. They still don’t think much of focus groups but they have improved the idea by actually hiring pro users to work in the same building with the engineering team to design and test new products. I can’t say I have ever seen that approach. It could work. And if it does, it could inspire the next wave of innovation.

    1. A powerful, complete modular Mac Pro, that when finally arrives, will set a new industry standard. I’m also imagining a new Mac mini that will mimic the modular Mac Pro in some important aspects, while clearly delineated as a consumer product. Maybe the mini will be the 1st Mac OS product with an ARM processor? Apple would have to ensure a modular mini would have some constraints so it wouldn’t overshadow an iMac.
      I also imagine, with a bit of trepidation, when the new M-Pro is released, the result won’t counter-balance the unreasonable delay since last update. If it’s a whiff, all of my Apple matches will be gone. Stick a fork in it.

  1. It seems as though Apple wants to be dependent on the iPhone and doesn’t want to take anything away from it. What other reason could there be? Is it that Apple can’t afford to update their desktop computers on a timely basis compared to other companies? When a company is sitting on $100B or so in repatriated cash I’d think it shouldn’t be such a big deal to challenge Hewlett-Packard or even Dell. I suppose I’m the stupid one because Apple is happily taking a back seat to less well-heeled companies for reasons I can’t even speculate on. Why is it so difficult for Apple to do what most companies can easily do when all the components are readily available. Are Apple’s engineers really that stupid? Then Apple should hire some smart ones.

  2. The Spaceship remains a distraction and an energy sink in the areas of completion of some of its parts, moving in, and settling into proper areas. Moving takes so much total effort.

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