PC shipments plummet in first quarter of 2023

Analysts agree that the personal computer market has taken a beating in the first quarter of this year. 

PCs have suffered a 29 per cent drop in shipments during the first quarter of 2023, data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker reveals. IDC cites weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate as factors for this decline.

Data from Canalys reports similar findings for the quarter, with total shipments of desktops and notebooks declining 33 per cent to 54 million units. According to the company, this is the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit annual declines. 

IDC figures revealed that global shipments numbered 56.9 million, marking a contraction of 29 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2022. The 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 the first quarter was significantly lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2019 and 60.6 million during the first quarter of 2018. 

It said that PC makers are restructuring their plans for the rest of 2023 based on first quarter data and have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks due to an expected increase in licensing costs later this year. 

According to IDC, PC shipments will most likely suffer in the near term, with a return to growth towards the end of the year after an expected improvement in the global economy and as the installed base begins to think about upgrading to Windows 11.

“By 2024, an aging installed base will start coming up for refresh,” said 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.”

Both IDC and Canalys revealed similarly depressing data in preliminary results for the  first quarter of 2023.

The top four companies are Lenovo, HP, Dell Technologies, Apple. 

Source: IDC

Lenovo stood at number one with 12.7 million Q1 2023 shipments, with a market share of 22.4 per cent. This is lower than its numbers from last year which stood at 18.2 million units with a market share of 22.8 per cent.

HP comes in second with 12 million Q1 2023 shipments compared to last year’s first quarter shipments of 15.8 million. 

Dell Technologies had 9.5 million Q1 shipments for this year. Last year was significantly higher, with 13.7 million shipments for the first quarter of 2022. 

Data from both IDC and Canalys shows that Apple dropped by more than 40 per cent between the years. The company shipped 4.1 million units for this years first quarter, compared to 6.9 million units from last year. 

Source: Canalys

Lastly, ASUS shipments dropped around 30 per cent, falling from 5.6 million shipments in the first quarter of 2022 to 3.9 million in 2023.

“Though channel inventory has depleted in the last few months, it’s still well above the healthy four to six week range,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “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.”

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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