However, Lenovo, HP, and Dell enjoyed shipment growth over the year at the expense of all the other manufacturers. "As demand for Chinese products in the United States drops, this particularly impacts businesses of all sizes from the manufacturing sector in China, which, in turn, translates to a drop in IT purchases by these companies", said Maciek Gornicki, research manager with IDC's Asia-Pacific client devices group. -China trade war could make things worse.
"Just when demand in the PC market started seeing positive results, a shortage of CPUs (central processing units) created supply chain issues", said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.
This was due to a strong quarter in the USA for Lenovo, whereas HP suffered declines in shipments in most key regions - with Asia being the notable exception.
Apple came fourth in the list with a market share of 7.2 percent, showing a decline a 3.8 percent year-over-year.
"Holiday sales are no longer a major factor driving consumer demand for PCs", she said, and the traditional end-of-year SMB refresh didn't happen.
Lenovo surpassed HP to move into the No. 1 position in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 2018, research agency Gartner said. The Asia/Pacific PC market slid 4.6 percent to 24.2 million, mainly on the back of uncertainties around U.S.
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ZDNet, on the other hand, lays the blame on the ongoing trade war between the USA and China. IDC agrees with Gartner on the trajectory of the top companies.
However, Lenovo seems to be an exception as the overall market has been stagnant.
Dell had the strongest growth among the top OEMs at 1.6 percent for the quarter and ended 2018 growing 5.6 percent over 2017. Both desktop and notebook shipments saw year-on-year declines in 4Q18.
Apple shipments declined 3.8 percent to 4.920, though its market share went slightly higher to 7.2 percent form 7.1 percent.
Acer Group took fifth place with market share of 6.7 percent and decline of 8.5 percent. Acer continues to compete in the gaming space, which remains a big focus for the company in 2019, but challenges within the component constraints likely affected its overall consumer business in 4Q18. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools.