The PC market has now been in decline for 14 quarters in a row, according to research firm Gartner. The streak, if you will, dates back to the second quarter of 2012. For Q1 2018, Gartner found PC shipments were down globally year-over-year, while IDC reported they were flat. So far, 2018 doesn’t look like it’s going to be much different from past years.

Gartner and IDC analysts have pointed to a variety of factors as contributing to this past quarter’s decline, including component shortages and a rising bill for materials that translates to higher prices. The only consistent factor every quarter, however, is that the PC simply isn’t as in-demand as it once was.


Gartner estimates that worldwide PC shipments fell 1.4 percent to 61.7 million units in Q1 2018. The top six vendors were HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus, and Acer. Apple ahead of Asus is a relatively new positioning — Apple only passed Asus in Q4 2017.

As you can see in the chart below, Gartner found that in the top six, only Asus and Acer experienced decreases in PC shipments, but these drops were both larger than competitors’ gains. The rest of the market was actually up 6.6 percent, a rare sight.

The results show that HP and Lenovo are neck and neck, but there’s more here than meets the eye. HP only took back first place from Lenovo a few quarters ago. But HP has been largely on an upward trend, while Lenovo has been slipping, with more quarters of declining shipments than not over the past couple of years. And Dell grew the fastest, eager to blow past both.

“In the first quarter of 2018, there was some inventory…