Traditional PC shipments are getting the brunt of the post-pandemic world as the International Data Corp. (IDC) reports what it calls a “precipitous drop” in the first quarter of 2023 (1Q23).
IDC pointed to weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate as primary factors in the dip in shipments.
According to the market intelligence firm’s data, global shipments numbered 56.9 million, marking a decline of 29% compared to the same quarter in 2022. 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 1Q23 was noticeably lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in 1Q19 and 60.6 million in 1Q18.
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“Though channel inventory has depleted in the last few months, it’s still well above the healthy four to the six-week range,” Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, said in a statement. “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.”
However, IDC sees a bright spot in the weakening demand as it enables supply chains to look into their next steps and how they would respond to changes. IDC said, PC makers now have the time to organize their strategies for the year.
“PC makers have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks due to an expected increase in licensing costs later this year,” IDC said. “That said, PC shipments will likely suffer in the near term with a return to growth toward the end of the year with 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 upward 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.”
Lenovo remains in the top slot with a 22.4% market share shipping 12.7 million PC in 1Q23. It was followed by HP, Dell, Apple, and ASUS.