Global PC Shipments Drop In Q1, Apple Lost More: IDC

Worldwide shipments of personal computers or PCs declined 29 percent in the first quarter, hit hard by weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate, according to research firm IDC. Apple was the biggest looser, with its Mac shipments showing around 40.5 percent drop from the same period last year.

Among the world’s largest computer makers, Lenovo, HP, Dell, and ASUS also recorded double-digit drop in first-quarter shipments of traditional PCs, including Desktops, Notebooks, and Workstations.

Going ahead, PC shipments are expected to suffer in the near term with a return to growth towards the end of the year amid an expected improvement in the global economy and as the installed base begins to think about upgrading to Windows 11, the report says.

Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC, said, “By 2024, an aging installed base will start coming up for refresh. If the economy is trending upwards by then, we expect significant market upside as consumers look to refresh, schools seek to replace worn down Chromebooks, and businesses move to Windows 11. If recession in key markets drags on into next year, recovery could be a slog.”

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker showed that worldwide PC shipments, including shipments to distribution channels or end users, totaled 56.9 million units in the first quarter, down from last year’s 80.2 million units.

The preliminary results represented a coda to the era of COVID-driven demand and at least a temporary return to pre-COVID patterns.

The first-quarter shipment volume was also noticeably lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in the first quarter of pre-pandemic fiscal 2019, and 60.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, Lenovo shipped 12.7 million units, down 30.3 percent from last year’s 18.3 million units. The Chinese PC maker’s market share also edged down to 22.4 percent from 22.8 percent a year ago.

HP Inc. was in the second spot with 12 million units of PC shipments, down 24.2 percent year-over-year. HP’s market share was 21.1 percent, higher than prior year’s 19.7 percent.

In the third spot was Dell Technologies, with PC shipments of 9.5 million units, down 31 percent from the prior year. The company’s market share also fell to 16.7 percent from 17.1 percent in the previous year.

With PC shipments of 4.1 million units, Apple was in the fourth spot, compared to prior year’s 6.9 million units. Apple’s market share also declined to 7.2 percent from 8.6 percent a year ago.

ASUS shipped 3.9 million units, down 30.3 percent, and its market share edged down to 6.8 percent from 6.9 percent last year.

Amid the pause in growth and demand, many factories are beginning to explore production options outside China. Meanwhile, PC makers are also rejigging their plans for the remainder of the year. IDC noted that the companies have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks due to an expected increase in licensing costs later this year.

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