Apple finished the first quarter with a significant decline in Mac shipments while HP Inc. exited the period in better shape than its major rivals as the global PC market continued to contract.
Research firm IDC reported in its latest PC market report on Sunday that Apple shipped 4.1 million Macs in the first quarter, 40.5 percent fewer than it did the same period last year. This resulted in Apple seeing the largest year-over-year decline in PC shipments in the first three months of 2023 compared to its four largest competitors: Lenovo, HP Inc., Dell Technologies and ASUS.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, by contrast, took the smallest hit to PC shipments in the first quarter with a 24.2 percent year-over-year decline, resulting in 12 million units for the period.
As a result, Apple’s share in the PC market shrunk by 16.3 points to 7.2 percent in the first quarter, but the Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor managed to hold its place in the top five PC vendors at No. 4. HP, on the other hand, was the only company among the world’s top five PC vendors to grow market share during the period, increasing 7.1 points to 21.1 percent, according to IDC.ADVERTISEMENT
While HP’s share growth kept it in second place in the PC market, the movement brought it closer to the market’s No. 1 vendor, Lenovo, whose computer shipments declined by 30.3 percent year-over-year to 12.7 units in the first quarter. With Lenovo’s market share shrinking by nearly 1.8 points to 22.4 percent, the Hong Kong-based vendor only holds a 1.3-point lead over HP now in contrast to the 3.1-point lead that Lenovo held over HP in the same period last year.
Lenovo tied with ASUS for having the third largest decline in PC shipments in the first quarter. Taiwan-based-ASUS shipped 3.9 million units and saw its market share decline by 1.5 points to 6.8 percent, keeping it in fifth place behind Apple.
The vendor with the second largest decline in PC shipments was Dell Technologies. The Round Rock, Texas-based company shipped 9.5 million units in the first quarter, 31 percent fewer than it did the same period last year. This resulted in Dell’s market share declining by 2.3 points to 16.7 percent, widening HP’s lead over its Texan rival by 4.4 points compared to 2.6 points in early 2022.
Meanwhile, PC shipments by smaller manufacturers declined collectively by 26 percent to 14.7 million.
These dwindling numbers added up to 56.9 million PC shipments total for the first quarter. That marked a 29 percent decline from the same period last year, which IDC attributed to “weak demand, excess inventory and a worsening macroeconomic climate.
The research firm noted the first quarter’s shipments were “noticeably lower” than the 59.2 million PCs shipped in the first quarter of 2019 and the 60.6 shipped units from the first quarter of 2018.
“Though channel inventory has depleted in the last few months, it’s still well above the healthy four to six week range,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, in a statement. “Even with heavy discounting, channels and PC makers can expect elevated inventory to persist into the middle of the year and potentially into the third quarter.”
Partners Sound Off On IDC’s Numbers
One top executive at a large solution provider told CRN that his company’s commercial PC business, which serves medium- to large-sized organizations, has not seen the “rapid decline” in shipments that has been experienced in the consumer side of the market.
“What we’re seeing across our customers is a pretty normal buying cycle. These devices are being used full time,” said Harry Zarek, who is CEO of Ontario, Canada-based Compugen, No. 55 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 list.
Zarek added that Compugen’s customers are making PC orders earlier in advance than they normally do. He believes it’s happening because these customers want to get ahead of any potential supply chain issues in the future after experiencing acute shortages in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They don’t want to be caught in any sort of supply constraints. I think there’s still a memory of what it was last time around,” he said.
As for why HP performed better than rivals in IDC’s report, Zarek saw two potential factors at play from his perspective: more competitive pricing and better availability.
“We were not seeing any delay in ordering products,” he said.
Mike Turicchi, vice president of strategic relations and marketing at Manassas, Va.-based HP partner NCS Technologies, said he’s not surprised HP could be faring better in part due to an improved supply chain since he believes the vendor did a “terrible job” managing supply early in the pandemic.
“From talking to several of the folks over there, there has been an acute focus on doing a much better job there, and I think that’s reflected in those numbers. They really have put a lot more resources and, and closer eye on making sure that they get their supply chain healthy, because it really hurt their business [in the past few years],” said Turicchi.
When it comes to HP’s uptick in market share, Turicchi thinks the vendor has been moving the needle at least in part because it has begun to ramp up marketing for its various technologies, such as HP Wolf Pro Security, which provides enterprise-class endpoint security for businesses.
However, Turicchi believes HP could be doing a better job of raising awareness of how its various technologies, from hardware to software, make the vendor stand out from rivals.
“Dell is No. 1. They are a marketing machine. They can pump it out and drive demand from getting their name, their features and products out there on the open market,” he said. “HP doesn’t do that. You don’t see HP commercials very often. So we expect to see a greater emphasis on their brand awareness and promoting and marketing their products.”LEARN MORE: Notebooks | Desktop-Clients
Dylan Martin is a senior editor at CRN covering the semiconductor, PC, mobile device, and IoT beats. He has distinguished his coverage of the semiconductor industry thanks to insightful interviews with CEOs and top executives; scoops and exclusives about product, strategy and personnel changes; and analyses that dig into the why behind the news. He can be reached at [email protected].
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