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PC Shipment Affected due to US China Trade War

The ongoing tussle between the US and China apart from affecting the growth of iPhone models is also affecting PC shipments all over the world in the fourth quarter of 2018. International Data Corporation (IDC) and Gartner, in various reports, showed the consequence of the trade war. IDC showed that the PC shipments all over the world had outperformed the forecast which said that there would be a 4.7 percent decline whereas the actual fall was 3.7 percent year-over-year. On the other hand, Gartner showed that there was a fall in sales by about 4.3 percent in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2017. Among all the PC companies, HP showed some amount of decline in its year-over-year volumes. Lenovo had maintained its position as the lead in the global PC market. With respect to region, the US saw a slight increase in the volume in comparison to last year, but it was all negative in Europe Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region and the Asia-Pacific region, but this didn’t include Japan, which only observed a single-digit decline – this was all due to the US-China trade war. The Japan region helped all major OEMs in their growth.

quarterly report by IDC suggested that the traditional PC shipments, which included desktop, notebook, and workstation, summed up to only over 68.1 million units in the fourth quarter, with a year-over-year decline of about 3.7 percent. The analyst firm believed that these figures in a small way outperformed the forecast of 4.7 percent. But the PC shipments declined by about 0.4 percent year on year.

IDC highlighted that Lenovo maintained its position as the lead in the fourth quarter with a market share of 23.4 percent and was one of the two top five PC vendors, along with Dell, and also saw positive year-over-year growth of 1.3 percent. HP came second on the list and had a share of 23.4 percent, but showed a decline of 3.2 percent year-over-year “due to a challenging quarter in the Americas”. Dell, in comparison, had the strongest year-over-year growth among the top five OEMs and had an increase by 1.6 percent in quarterly shipments. PC

In addition to the trade war that is going on between the US and China, IDC said that the shortage of Intel CPUs also resulted in overall negative growth in the fourth quarter. 

Neha Mahajan, the Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Devices and Displays Group, during a press statement, said- “While the processor supply challenges might continue into the first two quarters of 2019, PC makers might see the situation improve before the back-to-school season begins during the latter half of the year.”

IDC’s Asia/Pacific Client Devices Group Research Manager Maciek Gornicki separately highlights that the ongoing economic tensions between the US and China are likely to create a lot of uncertainty in the business environment in China. “And if the trade war escalates further, we should expect spillover of the impact to other countries, particularly due to the expected fluctuations of the exchange rates impacting businesses across the region,” he adds.

In its quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2018, Gartner stated a similar market development. It highlighted the fact that Lenovo was leading the market in the quarter with a market share of 24.2 percent, and also showed a 5.9 percent increase year-over-year. After this, HP took the second spot with a 22.4 percent share, and a decline of 4.4 percent. Dell took the third spot with a market share of 15.9 percent, and an increase of 1.4 percent.

Apple stood in the fourth position on the Gartner list and marked a market share of 7.2 percent and a year-over-year decline of about 3.8 percent. Asus took the fifth spot by taking over Acer, and had a share of 6.7 percent, and marked a fall of 10.7 percent.

Mikako Kitagawa, the Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner stated- “Political and economic uncertainties in some countries have dampened the demands on PC. There were uncertainties even in the US — where the overall economy has consistently been strong, among vulnerable buyer groups, like the small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Consumer demand has remained weak in the holiday season. Holiday sales might no longer be a major factor which would drive consumer demand for PCs.”


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Publisher Tom Wilson is a gambling industry pioneer. He is the founder of Tunf and his yearly Gambling industry predictions and analysis are respected and adhered to by veterans and novices alike.

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