PC sales fall for sixth quarter in a row while Apple gains ground

13 Jul 2023

Image: © marketlan/Stock.adobe.com

The IDC report claims Apple had a good quarter compared to the supply issues it faced in 2022, while HP has managed to gain market share amid the global downturn.

Global PC shipments have declined for the sixth quarter in a row as weak demand and economic issues continues to hamper the industry.

That’s according to a new report from research company IDC, which claims global PC sales fell to 61.6m shipments in the second quarter of the year, a drop of 13.4pc compared to last year. Despite the drop, the report claims this result beat earlier forecasts.

The ongoing lull in sales has caused inventory levels to remain higher than expected. Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s mobility and consumer device trackers division, said this elevated component inventory is “dragging down the market”.

“Despite these issues slowly easing, many component suppliers continue to offer reduced pricing in an effort to clear their inventory though PC makers and channels are still cautious about new systems due to the reduced demand,” Ubrani said.

The report suggested that ongoing reduced demand is leaving companies uncertain in terms of adjusting their supply levels. Ryan Reith, group VP for IDC’s client device trackers division, said companies don’t want to be caught with short supply problems, but noted that many “seem hesitant to make the big bet on a market rebound”.

“On the consumer side, we’re seeing a return to pre-pandemic habits where computing needs are shared across multiple devices, and we firmly believe the consumer wallet will favour smartphones over the PC,” Reith said.

“On the commercial side, workforce reductions – for many big companies – as well as the introduction of generative AI only add more confusion as to where to place an already reduced budget.”

Apple and HP gain ground

The report shows that most of the major PC makers have been impacted by the latest quarter, suffering a loss in sales. The only company that saw an increase in overall PC shipments was Apple, with a growth of 10.3pc and an increase to its market share to 8.6pc.

The report claims Apple suffered from supply issues during the same period last year, due to Covid-19-related shutdowns within the supply chain. An earlier report from IDC also claimed that Apple was the worst hit by the PC sales decline at the start of the year, suffering a 40pc drop.

HP saw a minimal drop to its annual growth, but its market share rose from 19.1pc to 21.8pc, gaining from the larger loss other companies suffered. IDC said that HP faced an oversupply of inventory over the past year and is approaching normalised levels of inventory, “allowing its growth rate to shine during this downturn”.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic