Global PC shipments dropped to their lowest level since 2006 last year. According to estimates from market research firm Gartner
, PC vendors shipped a total of 259 million computers in 2018, down from 263 million the year before. 2018 marked the seventh consecutive year of declining sales for the PC industry, and shipments are down almost 30 percent compared to 2011, the apparent peak of the PC era.
There were signs of improvement in 2018 though. Not only did the decline slow down to 1.3 percent, but the market actually returned to growth in the second and third quarter of the year before being hit by a shortage of CPUs towards the end of the year. “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”, Mikaki Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner stated, before conceding that "consumer demand remained weak in the holiday season".
In terms of market share, Lenovo passed HP last year to become the world's largest PC maker. The Chinese company accounted for 22.5 percent of global PC shipments in 2018, edging out HP (21.7 percent), Dell (16.2 percent) and Apple (6.9 percent).