A sharp drop in global shipments of personal computers in the holiday quarter wrapped up a year of such declines, but Apple Inc. reportedly suffered the least.
Global PC shipments fell 28.1% to 67.2 million units in the fourth quarter from a year ago, research firm International Data Group reported Tuesday. All manufacturers except for Apple AAPL, +0.45% recorded similar double-digit percentage declines from the 2021 holiday season, the report said.
Lenovo Group Ltd.’s 992, -0.16% shipments fell 28.5% to 15.5 million units from a year ago, according to IDC estimates, though its market share remained steady. HP Inc. HPQ, +1.57% shipments dropped 29% to 13.2 million units and Dell Technologies Inc. DELL, +0.50% shipments sunk 37.2% to 10.8 million, but Apple shipments only slipped 2.1% to 7.5 million units. Asustek Computer Inc. 2357, -2.00% shipments fell 20.9% to 4.8 million units, IDC said.
“Average selling prices across many channels also fell as excess channel inventory over the course of the past few months triggered discounting in an effort to spur demand,” Jitesh Ubrani, a research manager for IDC, said in a statement. “Despite these efforts, inventory management of finished PCs as well as components will remain a key issue in the coming quarters and has the potential to further affect ASPs.”
Back in October, analysts agreed that the PC market was in its steepest decline since records started being collected in the 1990s. The declines only worsened in the fourth quarter, according to IDC, and the outlook for 2023 isn’t great, either.
“Consecutive quarters of declines clearly paint a gloomy picture of the PC market, but this is really all about perception,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “We firmly believe the market has the potential to recover in 2024 and we also see pockets of opportunity throughout the remainder of 2023.”
Much of the past year’s slowdown reflects a tough comparison to 2021, which posted some of the best numbers in about a decade, as companies stocked up on work-from-home infrastructure and consumers upgraded for school and work.