When employees moved home from the office and students were trained online, the demand for new PCs rose sharply in the first quarter. However, Canalys found that despite COVID 19 problems in the supply chain, deliveries actually decreased 8%.
The 8% decrease was the worst since 2016, when deliveries decreased 12%, according to the company. Companies wanted to get new machines into the hands of employees who normally worked on desktop machines in the office, while parents bought machines for children who suddenly went to school online.
Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys says products flew off the shelves in the first quarter, but PC makers couldn't keep up with demand as supply was limited due to a number of factors.
“… PC manufacturers started 2020 with a limited supply of Intel processors, which was caused by a botched transition to 10 nm nodes. This was exacerbated when the factories in China could not be reopened after the New Year holidays.
“The slowdown in supply met with accelerated demand as companies were suddenly forced to equip a newly removed workforce and urgently order tens of thousands of PCs. Children also needed their own PCs because schools were closed and classes went online, ”Doshi said in a statement.
Lenovo and HP had the lion's share of the PC market with 23.9% and 21.8% respectively in the first quarter. Dell was in third place with 19.6%. Apple was far behind in fourth place with only 6% of the global market share.
Only Dell forecast positive growth with a modest annual rate of 1.1%. All others were rated negative for Apple projects the sharpest decline at -21%.
The good news is that from a sales perspective, these companies could at least achieve higher prices in the short term due to the high demand and low supply, but overall the year looks bleak for PC manufacturers, as Canalys predicts for the rest of the year as businesses reduce their purchases and consumers are also likely to limit purchases with so much economic uncertainty and short term demand.