The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has governments putting their countries under strict lockdown measures, and this has caused severe delays and logistical issues leading to worldwide PC shipments falling by 8%, says The Guardian Nigeria via the technology market analyst firm Canalys.
This comes as the demand for PCs has surged in Q1 2020.
Lenovo has emerged as the market leader with 12.8 million units shipped, followed by HP with 11.7 million units and Dell with 10.5 million units. Apple was hit hardest of the top 5 in Q1, as its shipments fell by over 20% to 3.2 million units.
In the first quarter, vendors shipped 53.7 million desktops, notebooks, and workstations, according to the latest Canalys research.
The reason for the surge in demand but faltering in shipments is because of supply chains being hit by COVID-19. “The PC industry has been boosted by the global COVID-19 lockdown, with products flying off the shelves throughout Q1,” says Research Director at Canalys, Rushabh Doshi.
Doshi continues to say that PC makers had a rough start to 2020 even without the virus. Many companies suffered under a constrained supply of Intel processors caused by a ‘botched’ transition to 10nm nodes.
He adds that the woes of PC makers were only worsened when Chinese factories were unable to reopen after the Lunar New Year holidays.
This slowdown suddenly met with an accelerated demand as businesses across the world were forced to adopt a remote workforce and the closure of schools fuelled online teaching.
“The urgency of demand from both the consumer and commercial sectors, combined with the shortage of supply, meant device cost was no longer the key consideration. Instead, the speed of supply was the most important factor,” Doshi explains.
Interestingly enough, the research firm predicts PC vendors will “report healthy profits” over the coming weeks, with operating margin percentages reaching all-time highs.
Canalys says home-working software also exceeded demands and added that AMD, in particular, is being considered as the competitive alternative to Intel by consumers and businesses alike.
Ishan Dutt, an analyst at Canalys, feels that the production constraints in China have since begun to ease, but the spike in PC demands as seen in Q1 might not continue as sharply, making the rest of the year very bleak for PC makers. He, in contrast with Doshi, expects a “downturn in demand” in Q2 2020.
“With factories now reopened and virtually up to full speed in China, PC vendors will face a challenge to manage the supply chain and production correctly over the next three to six months,” Dutt adds.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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