Gartner: Apple’s Mac sales dip slightly, marketshare increases in Q4

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 4.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. For the year, 2018 PC shipments surpassed 259.4 million units, a 1.3 percent decline from 2017. Gartner analysts said there were signs for optimism in 2018, but the industry was impacted by two key trends.

“Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues. After two quarters of growth in 2Q18 and 3Q18, PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “The impact from the CPU shortage affected vendors’ ability to fulfill demand created by business PC upgrades. We expect this demand will be pushed forward into 2019 if CPU availability improves.”

“Political and economic uncertainties in some countries dampened PC demand,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “There was even uncertainty in the U.S. — where the overall economy has been strong — among vulnerable buyer groups, such as small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season. Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs.”

The top 3 vendors boosted their share of the global PC market as Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell accounted for 63 percent of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 59 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 (see Table 1).

Lenovo surpassed HP Inc. to move into the No. 1 position in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 2018. A major factor for Lenovo’s share gain was credited to a joint venture with Fujitsu formed in May 2018. Lenovo also had a strong quarter in the U.S. The company has recorded three consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year shipment growth, despite the stagnant overall market.

Table 1. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q18 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner:  Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q18 (Thousands of Units)
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads (see “Market Definitions and Methodology: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones”). 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 units starting in 2Q18 to reflect the joint venture that closed in May 2018.
Source: Gartner (January 2019)

The fourth quarter of 2018 was a challenging one for HP Inc. The company experienced a shipment decline after four consecutive quarters of growth. HP Inc.’s shipments declined in most key regions, except Asia/Pacific and Japan. Dell registered positive growth as the company outperformed in EMEA and Japan, but it experienced a decline in Asia/Pacific and Latin America.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 14.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 4.5 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2017 (see Table 2). Four of the top six vendors experienced a decline in U.S. PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018. Lenovo’s growth was well above the U.S. average while Dell’s shipments increased slightly compared with a year ago. The overall decline in the U.S. was attributed to weak consumer demand despite holiday season sales as well as SMBs.

“The fourth quarter is typically a buying season for small office/home office (SOHO) and small business buyers in the U.S. as they want to use up the untouched budget before the tax year ends,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “Our early indicator showed that SOHO and small business buyers held off on some new PC purchases due to uncertainties around the political and economic conditions.”

Table 2. Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q18 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q18 (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.
Source: Gartner (January 2019)

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 20.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 3.8 percent decline year over year. There were some positive signs, such as in Western Europe’s demand for desktops and ultramobiles that fueled SMB shipments, while the government sector also benefited from further Windows 10 renewals. Demand in Russia continued to recover, and some parts of Eastern Europe, such as the Czech Republic and Hungary. However, demand was not strong enough to offset declining shipments to consumers.

The Asia/Pacific PC market totaled 24.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 4.6 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2017. Due to uncertainties of the U.S.-China trade relations, and the volatile equity market, there was cautionary demand, especially among consumers and the SMB segment. In the fourth quarter of 2018, PC shipments in China declined 2.5 percent year over year, but shipments grew 5.6 sequentially.

Seventh Consecutive Year of Worldwide PC Shipment Decline

For the year, worldwide PC shipments totaled 259.4 million units in 2018, a 1.3 percent decrease from 2017 (see Table 3). This was the seventh consecutive year of global PC shipment decline, but it was less steep compared with the past three years.

“The majority of the PC shipment decline in 2018 was due to weak consumer PC shipments. Consumer shipments accounted for approximately 40 percent of PC shipments in 2018 compared with representing 49 percent of shipments in 2014,” Kitagawa said. “The market stabilization in 2018 was attributed to consistent business PC growth, driven by Windows 10 upgrade.”

Table 3. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2018 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2018 (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.
Source: Gartner (January 2019)

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.
About Gartner

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Mac sales will set a new record this year as we expect the new Mac Pro and other Mac updates to be compelling!

18 Comments

  1. The way Cook has treated Mac users for the last 8-years, it’s now clear to everyone, he couldn’t give a shit about the Mac lineup.

    The only thing he has done is squeeze every last penny out of the Mac line by:

    Failing to update
    Locking down the boxes
    Removing ports
    Charging us for dongles to get functionality for the ports he removed
    Soldering components
    Glue packing
    Removing safety features
    Selling outdated hardware for full price
    Increasing price by 40% when and if products are EVER updated

    It’s abysmal. The only reason Macs are still around today is because of the dedicated Apple users who can remember when Apple had a leader that every company on earth envied. Right now we have one that most people despise.

      1. @John Smith

        On the contrary, John. “Ridiculous stupid bullshit” is all we’ve gotten from Tim Cook for the past 8-years. I’m glad you were finally released from you incarceration stint, but that’s what’s been happening in the real world.

    1. Most of the Macs sold worldwide last year were to people who had never owned a Mac before. So, I don’t think you could call people who’ve never used a Mac before a dedicated Apple user.

      These people remember “that place I bought my phone, don’t they make computers?”

      1. Wrong Again: You do live up to your screen name.

        What evidence do you have to show that most Mac sales are going to ” to people who had never owned a Mac before.” ????

        While once Jobs championed the idea of letting a user own his own digital life, with the Mac as the center hub, today Cook wants to be Big Brother. He’s done everything possible to disconnect iOS derivative devices from Macs so he can attempt (and fail) to make iCloud monthly rental a necessary part of an all-Apple lifestyle. He’s also dumbed down Macs to make them irrepairable, which has prompted less savvy buyers to be suckered into Applecare.

        Instead, wise Mac users like myself have instead shunned rental services and added non-Apple hardware to enhance the Mac and iPhone capabilities that Apple itself can’t seem to get right.

  2. A Mac Pro could never EVER help set any kind of sales record… well none other than “Most Expensive Mac Ever”. Even if it’s EXACTLY what Pros want, the iMac, MacBook, and MacBook Pro will always outsell it because there’s far more non-Pros than pros. Even the iMac Pro will outsell it.

    1. @Wrong Again

      I’m glad you mentioned the trashcan Mac Pro… a pointless device that itself hasn’t even been updated in 6-years; but through some strange force of supernatural GREED still manages to sell for the same price it did in 2013 (not even adjusted for inflation, mind you).

      Everyone knows my penchant for big words, so here’s one for you:

      It’s “REPREHENSIBLE”. Please look that one up.

      1. He DIDN’T mention the trashcan Mac Pro. Only you did.

        He was talking about the hypothetical modern modular Mac Pro of everyone’s dreams, and pointing out that not even that machine would sell large volumes. Mac Pros never did.

        iMacs and iBooks were always the machines that drove Apple’s sales numbers, market share, and profits. Those models are still driving Apple’s increased share of a market that is shrinking overall, in large part due to a shift to tablets and phones by basic computer users… which is making Apple as much money as it is losing in computer sales.

        1. With all due respect, TxUser, you are better than this.

          Wrong Again is a known agitator who never has a good thing to say about Macs or Intel or anything whatsoever to do with true PERSONAL computing.

          You know very well that the only Mac Pro that Apple has offered for the last 6 years has been the trashcan model. For all practical purposes, Apple does not support 2012 and prior models and so “sales records” for vintage hardare are irrelevant to this discussion.

          What Wrong Again refuses to admit is that high performance computing is very profitable — as MDN drones on and on about, they don’t realize the value of market share, they only care about profit margin. Well just about no product Apple has ever made, except the ridiculous gold Apple Watch, runs a higher margin than the Mac Pro.

          This is precisely why Apple’s self-defeating pricing strategy is fooling shallow thinkers into the notion that desktop buyers are satisfied with iMacs and Mini cubes that need an external breakout box to add a powerful video card. They aren’t. If Apple bothered to get off its fat lazy ass and deliver a proper tower workstation that could be configured for either gaming, high power processing, OR as a server, AND PRICED IT REALISTICALLY, then Apple would have a megahit on its hands.

          Sadly, Cook can’t see the forest for the trees — and neither can iOS-lovin’ Wrong Again.

      2. Here’s a big word for you, disputatious. That’s you. We’ve run our business on that pointless device. $7,000,000 dollars later, I would say its been well worth its cost.

        1. Honest question: what specifically does your business do with Macs today that it could no do with Windows PCs for significantly lower total life costs?

          There was a time when OS X and Mac hardware offered a much better value. Under Cook, imho, those days are rapidly waning.

  3. So what this means is that Apple actually sold thousands more machines than Gardner estimates. When was the last time they did not substantially underestimate Mac sales?

  4. Why do you print this crap? Gartner hasn’t been close to right on any of its bullshit “projections,” since they’ve been pulling them out of their asses. Ignore these false numbers.

  5. Gartner has no earthly idea how many Macs Apple sold in the most recent quarter. Neither does IDC. These estimates came right out of their rectal cavities, where they keep all their current-quarter Apple data.

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