Analyst group Gartner has released its latest quarterly report on worldwide PC shipments, revealing a further fall in sales over a period in which the market was overshadowed by the Meltdown and Spectre CPU security flaws.
The latest Gartner report on worldwide PC shipments indicates a 1.4 per cent decline in sales of laptops and desktops for the first quarter of 2018, marking the 14th straight quarter that shipments have declined.
The continuing decline in PC sales reflects the fact that both businesses and personal users don't feel the need to upgrade their PCs as often as they once did, on the one hand, while users increasingly use non-PC devices instead of PCs.
Gartner said a number of factors had been responsible for the latest shipments slump, including lower PC demand in China, the delayed release of new PC models, and component shortages, coupled with rising prices for materials stymieing the PC market.
In particular, the quarter saw the price of memory continue to increase due to shortages, while the price of graphics cards almost doubled due to demand from cryptocurrency miners. Prices only started to ease off in March.
"The major contributor to the decline came from China, where unit shipments declined 5.7 per cent year over year," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
"This was driven by China's business market, where some state-owned and large enterprises postponed new purchases or upgrades, awaiting new policies and officials' reassignments after the session of the National People's Congress in early March.
"In the first quarter of 2018, there was some inventory carryover from the fourth quarter of 2017," she added. "At the same time, vendors were cautious in overstocking due to the upcoming release of new models in the second quarter of 2018 with Intel's new eighth-generation core processors."
HP Inc topped the board as the world's leading PC supplier and even posted 2.8 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017.
Lenovo took second, and Dell came in third, with both companies achieving shipment growth. The fall guys proved to be Acer and Asus, with their shipments falling by 8.6 per cent and 12.5 per cent, respectively.
The minor but persistent decline in PC shipments has often led to claims that the PC is as good as dead, but there still appears to be some demand for desktops and laptops from some of the biggest brands.
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