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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

PC sales dropped globally 4.6% in first quarter

Central processing unit supply restraints, longer upgrade periods and weak consumer demands lead to decline, Gartner says

PC demand has taken a hit this year as sales have generally. Bloomberg
PC demand has taken a hit this year as sales have generally. Bloomberg

Personal computer unit shipments fell worldwide - by almost 4.6 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019 - due to central processing unit (CPU) supply constraints, weak consumer demands and political instability in some parts of the world, according to a survey.

Global PC shipments totalled 58.5 million units in the first quarter of this year, over 2.8 million less than the same period of last year, as per the findings of Gartner, an American researcher.

“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,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

While the consumer market remained weak, the mix of product availability may have also hindered demand, said Ms Kitagawa.

CPU is the part that carries out the instructions by performing the basic arithmetic specified by the users.

However, top three global vendors still managed to increase shipments despite the supply constraint by focusing on high-end products and taking share from small vendors that struggled to secure CPUs.

Chinese tech giant Lenovo, which benefited from the inclusion of Fujitsu’s shipments from its last year’s joint venture, has the largest global market share at 22.5 per cent. It is followed by American firms HP and Dell at 21.9 and 17.6 per cent market share, respectively, according to Gartner’s data that includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultra-mobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks and iPads.

“Constraints resulted in the top vendors shifting their product mix to the high-end segment in order to deal with the constraint,” added Ms Mr Kitagawa.

In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, PC shipments totalled 18 million units, a 2.2 per cent year-on-year fall. Consumer PC demand in EMEA remained weak as users are not replacing older PCs, said the report.

Japan was the only region to experience PC shipment growth with a 6.8 per cent increase year-on-year. This was primarily driven by a surge in business PC shipments.

Updated: April 17, 2019 08:27 AM

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