It's time for the quarterly PC market predictions from analyst houses Gartner and IDC and, as usual, they disagree on the state of the trade.
Gartner reports global PC sales of 67.2 million units for Q3 2018 showed a slim growth of 0.1 per cent over the same period in 2017. Meanwhile IDC said volumes of 67.4 million units is down 0.9 per cent year-on-year.
There's one thing the pair of prognosticators agrees on, however: Lenovo is pretty much the incumbent in the number-one slot. Gartner measured the vendor's shipments at 15.889 million units (market share 23.6 per cent), while IDC reckoned it at 16.152 million (market share 24 per cent).
Gartner's numbers saw growth for just three vendors – Lenovo, HP Inc, and Dell – while IDC thinks Acer also grew in that period. Both agree Apple had a disappointing year, shedding either 8.5 per cent in shipments (Gartner) or 11.6 per cent (IDC).
|Vendor||Shipments (thousands), Q3 2018 – Gartner||Shipments (thousands), Q3 2018 – IDC||Share Q3 2018 – Gartner (%)||Share Q3 2018 – IDC (%)|
IDC had previously predicted a three per cent decline in global PC shipments, so it sees the market outperforming its forecast. The analyst firm attributed the tight market to harsh conditions in emerging market, which “had to contend with unfavourable currency headwinds and other politico-economic factors that cramped demand.”
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Gartner has a different view of the geographical influences: “EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Japan experienced growth in the third quarter of 2018, while the U.S. and Latin America declined,” its beancounters said.
Its analysts are also fretting somewhat about the impact of Intel's CPU shortage, predicting price increases and “changes to the vendor landscape”.
HP Inc CEO Don Weisler this week said the shortage will last another six months, but Gartner is more bearish, predicting: “Current expectation is that the shortage will continue into 2019, but Intel will prioritise the high-end CPU as well as the CPUs for business PCs.”
Gartner and Weisler agree that the shortage will create an opportunity for AMD.
IDC's take on the CPU shortage is that that it damped growth in EMEA, while in Asia: “Vendors and channel partners increased shipments in 3Q18 to hedge against expected price increases and CPU shortages.” ®