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Apple’s Mac shipments dived more than 40% last quarter

Apple saw a big drop in Mac shipments in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, according to data from research firm IDC.

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant shipped 4.1 million laptops and desktops during the last quarter, compared to 6.9 million in the same period 12 months ago, marking a sizable 40.5% decline.

However, it should be noted that other leading PC makers also suffered similar, albeit smaller, falls. Lenovo, which has the highest market share for PC shipments at 12.7%, saw a 30.3% fall in year-on-year shipments for the quarter ending March 31, while Dell saw a 31% fall.

Apple’s share of the PC market in the first quarter of this year also dropped to 7.3%, down from 8.6% a year earlier.

A small dip in Apple’s share price reflected the fact that IDC’s presented no big surprise. That’s because, in February, several members of Apple’s top team flagged up expected shipment declines for the first quarter, a situation attributed in part to challenging economic conditions globally.

IDC suggested that pressure on the overall PC market will remain for much of this year, with shipments starting to rise next year if the overall economic situation begins to improve.

“By 2024, an aging installed base will start coming up for refresh,” IDC’s Linn Huang said in a release. “If the economy is trending upwards by then, we expect significant market upside as consumers look to refresh, schools seek to replace worn down Chromebooks, and businesses move to Windows 11,” but it cautioned: “If recession in key markets drags on into next year, recovery could be a slog.”

Apple will certainly be hoping for a boost in Mac sales with the introduction of M3-powered laptops and desktops sometime this year.

IDC pointed out that the pause in demand also gives supply chains in the sector an opportunity to make changes as some firms explore options for building manufacturing facilities outside China.

Apple partner Foxconn, for example, has been moving some of its iPhone manufacturing facilities to India, in part to steer clear of any fallout from tensions between Beijing and Washington. Apple’s operations were also affected by China’s strict approach to the pandemic, which caused disruption at a number of its manufacturing facilities.

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Trevor Mogg
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