Global shipments of personal computers (PCs) fell by 29% in the first quarter of 2023 due to weak demand, excess inventory and a deteriorating macroeconomic climate, according to a report published on Sunday by market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
The IDC report said that global PC shipments numbered 56.9 million in the first quarter of this year, down from 80.2 million in the same period last year. Also, shipment volume in the Q1 2023 was noticeably lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in Q1 2019 and 60.6 million in Q1 2018, according to the market research firm.
Of the top five PC companies analysed in the report, Apple’s Q1 shipments saw the largest drop of 40.5% from the same period in 2022, with Dell Technologies coming in second with a drop of 31%.
On February 2 this year, Reuters reported that Apple’s sales of its Mac computers, which saw a rise during the wave of working from home during the pandemic, declined 29% YoY to $7.7 billion in the latest quarter.
Lenovo led the global PC market with 22.4% market share, followed by HP at 21.1% and Dell Technologies at 16.7%, even though Lenovo, Asustek and HP also faced declines in shipments, the IDC said.
“The preliminary results also represented a coda to the era of Covid-driven demand and at least a temporary return to pre-Covid patterns. Shipment volume in Q1 2023 was noticeably lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in Q1 2019 and 60.6 million in Q1 2018,” IDC said in a statement.
The pause in growth and demand is also giving the supply chain some room to make changes as many factories begin to explore production options outside China. Meanwhile, PC makers are also restructuring their plans for the rest of the year and have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks due to an expected increase in licensing costs later this year.
That said, PC shipments will likely suffer in the near term with a return to growth towards the end of the year, said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC. He said, “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.”