Apple’s Mac shipments plummet 21% in Q1, far more than overall PC industry decline – Canalys

According to the latest Canalys research, worldwide demand for PCs soared in Q1 2020, driven by remote working and learning requirements from strict lockdown measures around the world. But the crisis also caused severe delays in production and logistical issues, leading to worldwide PC shipments falling 8% year on year. Apple’s Mac shipments plummet 21% in Q1, far more than overall PC industry decline. In the first quarter, vendors shipped 53.7 million desktops, notebooks and workstations.

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. Of the top five, Apple was hit hardest in Q1, as their Mac shipments fell by over 20% to 3.2 million units.

“The PC industry has been boosted by the global COVID-19 lockdown, with products flying off the shelves throughout Q1,” said Rushabh Doshi, Research Director at Canalys, in a statement. “But PC makers started 2020 with a constrained supply of Intel processors, caused by a botched transition to 10nm nodes. This was exacerbated when factories in China were unable to reopen after the Lunar New Year holidays. The slowdown in supply met with accelerated demand, as businesses were suddenly forced to equip a newly remote workforce, placing urgent orders for tens of thousands of PCs. Children, too, needed their own PCs, as schools closed and lessons went online. 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, speed of supply was the most important factor.”

Apple's Mac shipments plummet 21% in Q1, far more than overall PC industry decline

PC vendors will report healthy profits over the next few weeks, with operating margin percentages reaching all-time highs. Many other home technologies have seen similar popularity, including headphones, webcams, printers and monitors. Home-working software also exceeded expectations, including office, collaboration, virtual desktop, remote access and security. AMD, in particular, is doing well, increasingly being accepted as a competitive alternative to Intel by businesses as well as consumers.

Ishan Dutt, Analyst at Canalys, said in a statement, “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. Many parts of the tech industry have benefited from the early part of this extraordinary lockdown period, but we expect to see a significant 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 supply chain and production correctly over the next three to six months.”

MacDailyNews Take: Since Apple does not report Mac shipments, these results showing Mac shipments plummeting are Canalys estimates based on supply chain data which may be especially murky amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple will report the Mac results (revenue) along with the rest of their fiscal Q2 results on April 30th. We’ll have a clearer idea then how the Mac really fared in calendar Q1.


    1. Agreed, they’re generally wrong when they analyze Apple’s supply chain to deduce sales. On the other hand, I would expect Mac sales to be lower this quarter than other PC makers. You know it’s true: your old Mac still works just fine. You just want the new one because it’s just a new Apple product and the keyboard action is 5% better and there’s a faster GPU. Or whatever. So when the economy goes into defensive mode, this kind of discretionary “I just want that” spending is the first to decline. Along with summer homes, jetskis, fur sinks, and electric dog polishers.

  1. Ahh…Whatever. Apple isn’t going out of business because of a couple of weak quarters. I’m just glad Apple isn’t part of the travel or airlines industry. Then we would be seriously talking “plummet” where sales drop 90%+ YoY. 21% is like a stroll in the park as far as Apple is concerned.

    United Airlines is losing about $100-million a DAY. Delta Airlines is losing about $50-million a DAY. Southwest Airlines already had a fleet of 737 MAX aircraft that was parked for a year and now this virus crisis and there’s really no way for airlines to recover those losses. Apple will be able to recover relatively quickly whenever the virus goes away. Plus, Apple is sitting on a pile of reserve cash. I’m not concerned about Apple at all and I’m comfortable collecting Apple dividends. Canalys can suck it.

    I’ve heard Apple is selling plenty of iPads to schools and hospitals, at least, here in NYC, so that’s something positive to chew on.

  2. Was at the local computer store in mid-March, as the realities of home-schooling, work-from-home were becoming obvious. Went to the local MicroCenter (large computer store) to get a monitor for my sister’s home office. The place was packed worse than any Black Friday, with 2-hour lines. The PC section was a mob scene, displays were fast running out, and there were crickets in the Apple department. And it’s a big, busy place. They even had the Mac Pro and new Display on hand. 2 guys working the Apple department. But not a single Apple customer.

    But people needing to throw together quick, cheap home offices and have enough computers for all the kids went Windows and Chromebooks all the way. And iPads still aren’t the working solution for almost anybody. So of course Apple saw a relative decline. In the long run, it will even out when incomes come back and people start buying for themselves again. In the short term, a dip is expected.

  3. Apple has lost touch with the normal consumer. $1000 phones, $5000 monitors, $6000 Mac Pro, $5000 iMac Pro, $3000 Laptops, $2000 iPad Pro, let’s get real, people can’t buy this stuff. And before you go correcting me that is pretty much what you can expect to pay for a top performing machine with Apple. For the iPad Pro, yes, by the time you add the accessories as needed and taxes it’s $2000.

  4. In short Apple is doomed, but meanwhile in the upper division school districts their use is not a problem…, we get it you want the Apple experience but as usual you don’t want pay for it, most of the online cobbled together classrooms are failing their students in the same manner, as having enough testing kits for the virus, or providing masks and gloves to the workers that need to work in these pandemic times.

    90% of the school districts won’t be using Apple gear, those days are long gone, Apple however will be used in the schools districts where the parents can and will PAY for them. In short those that are still getting ahead even in these bad times.

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