PC pain persists in Q1 2023 – Apple saw a 40% shipment drop
Weak demand, surplus inventory, and a deteriorating macroeconomic environment all contributed to the dramatic drop in traditional PC shipments during the first quarter of 2023, says the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Global shipments numbered 56.9 million, marking a contraction of 29.0% compared to the same quarter in 2022, according to preliminary results from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.
The preliminary findings also marked the end of the COVID-driven demand era and, at most, a transitory return to pre-COVID patterns. Shipment volume in 1Q23 was noticeably lower than in previous "first quarters", with 59.2 million units shipped in 1Q19 and 60.6 million sent in 1Q18.
"Though channel inventory has depleted in the last few months, it's still well above the healthy four to six week range," says Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, in a press release. "Even with heavy discounting, channels and PC makers can expect elevated inventory to persist into the middle of the year and potentially into the third quarter."
The pause in growth and demand is also allowing the supply chain some breathing room as many manufacturers begin to look for alternative production locations outside of China. Meanwhile, PC manufacturers are rethinking their plans for the rest of the year and have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks in anticipation of a rise in license prices later this year. However, IDC predicts that PC shipments will certainly suffer in the short term, with a rebound to growth projected towards the end of the year as the global economy improves and the installed base begins to consider upgrading to Windows 11.
"By 2024, an aging installed base will start coming up for refresh," says Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC. "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."
|Company||1Q23 Shipments||1Q23 Market Share||1Q22 Shipments||1Q22 Market Share||1Q23/1Q22 Growth|
|2. HP Inc.||12.0||21.1%||15.8||19.7%||-24.2%|
|3. Dell Technologies||9.5||16.7%||13.7||17.1%||-31.0%|
Source: IDC Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, April 9, 2023