The PC market has been facing some tough times, and unfortunately, things have gotten even worse. Recent reports by Canalys and IDC show that the number of worldwide computer shipments has dropped between 29 to 33 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023. Ouch! That’s even worse than the drop we saw during the holiday season. To make matters worse, none of the major brands were spared from the downturn. HP did the best with only a 24 percent drop in shipments, while Apple was hit the hardest with a drop of more than 40 percent. ASUS, Dell, and Lenovo all experienced a roughly 30 percent hit.
What’s going on? Well, it seems that many people are hesitant to buy new computers in these turbulent economic times. Inflation is running wild, and the pandemic-era boom in remote work is winding down. People either can’t afford to buy new machines or already have ones that are good enough. Apple is particularly vulnerable to poor economic conditions since it generally targets the high-end market. TechCrunch also suggests that Apple’s transition to in-house chips helped it avoid the tough times that Windows vendors faced in recent years, but that honeymoon period may be coming to an end.
The good news is that analysts believe that this is the worst drop we’ll see in the PC market in 2023. Both Canalys and IDC expect to see some recovery in the second half of the year. As old computers become due for upgrades, including Chromebooks in schools, and businesses update to Windows 11 systems, there will be opportunities for growth. IDC also sees the slowdown as a chance for manufacturers to move some production outside of China.
However, there’s still a bit of caution. IDC warns that if recessions continue into 2024, the PC industry could be in for a long, tough slog. Even though the sharpest declines may be over, it could still take a while for the market to bounce back. So, don’t be surprised if brands play it safe by sticking with computer designs, they know will sell, rather than experimenting with something unusual.