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Worldwide PC shipments plunge 8% year-on-year

Global shipments of PCs contracted 8 percent year-on-year last quarter, the largest decline since the first quarter of 2016, as the industry’s supply chain came under heavy pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore-based market advisory firm Canalys Co said in a report on Friday last week.
While market demand for PCs has been boosted by worldwide lockdowns to contain the virus, shipments of PCs, including desktops, laptops and workstations, fell to 53.68 million units in the January-to-March period, as the pandemic hindered production and the flow of logistics, the report said.
“PC makers started 2020 with a constrained supply of Intel [Corp’s] processors, caused by a botched transition to 10nm nodes. This was exacerbated when factories in China were unable to reopen after the Lunar New Year holidays, ” Canalys research director Rushabh Doshi said in the report.
The slowdown in production was then met with a sudden acceleration in demand as companies were forced to equip a newly remote workforce, placing urgent orders for tens of thousands of PCs, Doshi said, adding that market demand from the consumer sector also rose as schools shut down, moving classes online.
Last quarter, the world’s top five PC vendors — Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), HP Inc, Dell Inc, Apple Inc and Acer Inc (宏碁) — retained their rankings despite posting declines in shipments, Canalys’ data showed.
Apple was the hardest hit among its peers with shipments dropping 21 percent year-on-year to 3.22 million units.
The firm’s market share also dropped by 1 percentage point to 6 percent.
However, last quarter’s surge in market demand is unlikely to continue, as few businesses would be willing to spend on technology for their offices while consumers would have already updated their home PCs, the report said.
“A global recession has begun — businesses will go bankrupt, with millions newly unemployed. Even governments and large corporations will have to prioritize spending elsewhere,” Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt said in the report, predicting a significant downturn in demand for PCs this quarter.
With production plants having reopened and up to full speed in China, PC vendors would face the challenge of managing supply chains and production correctly, he added.