Apple hit hardest by decline in personal computer shipments in Q1

Apr 11, 2023
Updated • Apr 11, 2023

The personal computer market declined significantly in the 1st quarter of 2023. And it appears that Apple bore the brunt of it.

Apple Mac shipments declined by 40% in Q1

Apple's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Luca Maestri, had revealed in an earnings call in February, that the company expects revenue from Mac to drop by a double-digits percentange in Q1, 2023. The company's CEO, Tim Cook had said that a year-on-year comparison to previous successful launches made comparisons of sales figures difficult.

The Cupertino company halted the production of its M2 chipsets in January. This was seen as a shock, as the Silicon Valley giant had never before stopped manufacturing a current-gen chipset. According to a report by Bloomberg, PC market shipments saw a slump of 29% to 56.9 million units. Lenovo and Dell registered drops of over 30%, ASUS' numbers dropped by 30.3%, while HP saw a 24.2% decline. Apple however took the hardest hit with a decline of 40.5%, its worst drop since Q3 of 2000. This may explain why the company had to stop the production of the M2 chips.

It is worth taking into account the part that the COVID 19 pandemic played in the sales of computers. A lot of people had to work from home, and even study remotely during the pandemic-era. This caused a sharp increase in the sales of mobile phones, and computers, specifically laptops such as MacBooks. Once the pandemic ended and people returned to their offices and schools, there was a steep decline in the demand for such devices. This is likely what Cook was referring to about comparing the current economic slowdown against the sales numbers of the previous years.

Anurag Rana, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, says that a rebound is possible for the PC market in the 2nd half of 2023. Apple is expected to announce its M3 MacBooks and iMac at the WWDC 23 event in June, so it could benefit from the demand.

Personally, I think that high prices are to blame too. When Apple launched its M2 MacBooks last year, many people were surprised by the prices of the devices. They were quite high, in fact the new machines were more expensive than the previous gen models, while just offering a marginal upgrade over them. I use a MacBook Air M1, and while I love the laptop, I find it absurd that the company is still sticking to 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage for the basic model of its new MacBooks. The tech community was riddled with complaints about how the SSDs on the M2 Macs had slower read and write speeds than the previous gen models. The M1 laptops were not only faster, but offered a similar battery life at a cheaper price tag.

It's not like people have to buy new computers every year. Apple's machines last for a long time, so it wouldn't make sense to expect consumers to upgrade their systems frequently, like they may do with iPhones. Apple rarely offers discounts for its devices, at least through its official channels, i.e. Apple Stores.

If you want a good deal for your Mac, look for an officially refurbished one, as it comes with a regular warranty. The condition of the device is as good as a new one, the only difference is that it usually ships in a different box. The only problem is that Apple does not sell refurbished devices in a lot of Countries. Apple's Education discounts can be a good option for students or teachers.

Apple hit hardest by decline in personal computer shipments in Q1
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Apple hit hardest by decline in personal computer shipments in Q1
Apple's Mac computers saw a drop of 40% demand in Q1 2023, it's worst decline since 2000.
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  1. Anonymous said on April 11, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Overpriced Apple Chinese junk is no longer of interest to anyone. When HP, ASUS, and ACER offered the same Chinese devices for less money.

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