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Canalys: Mac shipments drop 20% in Q1 despite strong PC demand caused by remote working


New data from Canalys this week breaks down how demand in the PC industry surged in Q1 of 2020 due to new reliance on remote work and distance learning because of COVID-19. Despite that growth in demand, however, Canalys also notes that “severe delays in production and logistical issues” actually led to a decline in year-over-year shipments.

According to the data, PC shipments hit 53.7 million in Q1 2020, down 8% compared to the same quarter last year. PC makers remained stable, but likely missed out on potential growth due to supply chain delays caused by COVID-19:

The top vendor rankings remained stable, with Lenovo still leading the PC market with 12.8 million units shipped. HP came second with 11.7 million units, followed by Dell with 10.5 million units.

But for Apple, shipments reportedly fell by over 20% — making it the hardest hit manufacturer of the top 5 vendors. In Q1 2019, Canalys estimated Mac shipments of 4.07 million units, and that is estimated to have dropped to 3.2 million for Q1 2020.

Canalys also notes that “many other home technologies” have seen major growth amid the shift to working and learning from home. This includes monitors, webcams, printers, and headphones. Apple likely misses out on most of these categories, except for headphones. It’s highly unlikely that many people are buying the Pro Display XDR for their emergency work from home setups.

Going forward, Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt does not expect PC industry demand to remain as strong as it was in Q1:

“As we move into Q2, the production constraints in China have eased. But the spike in PC demand seen in Q1 is not likely to be sustained and the rest of the year looks less positive. Few businesses will be spending on technology for their offices, while many homes will have been freshly equipped. A global recession has begun – businesses will go bankrupt, with millions newly unemployed. Even governments and large corporations will have to prioritize spending elsewhere.”

As always with these reports, it’s important to remember that Apple itself does not report unit sales for the Mac, or any of its products. Canalys data is based on things like supply chain analysis and consumer surveys, and should be treated with some skepticism.

Apple will report its fiscal Q2 2020 earnings on April 30. Read the full release from Canalys here.

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