New data from IDC and Gartner has revealed that the US trade war with China and processor shortages have had a significant impact of PC sales at a time when the PC market appeared to be recovering.
According to IDC, shipments of traditional PCs came in at 68.1m units during the fourth quarter which is down by 3.7 per cent from the same time last year. The decline during Q4 is the largest since Q3 2016 and for the year PC sales were down by 0.4 per cent.
IDC's data also revealed that vendors built up their inventories during the third quarter before processor shortages and the trade war began.
Consumer demand drove the PC industry during the fourth quarter but multiple retailers reported a slowdown in sales after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Gartner pointed out the fact that PC makers were affected by the processor shortage as they were unable to meet the demands of companies looking to upgrade their business PCs. The firm expects demand to pick up again in 2019 once CPUs become more readily available.
The top three vendors were able to boost their market share and Lenovo claimed the number one spot followed by HP and Dell.
Apple's global market share fell during the fourth quarter when compared to the same period a year ago while its US market share increased.
The end of the processor shortage will likely help boost PC sales but any further escalation of the US trade war against China could be devastating for the PC market.
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