According to the latest reports from market research firms, Apple’s PC shipments experienced the largest decline among all major manufacturers in the third quarter of 2023. The company shipped 23.1% fewer laptops and desktops than the same period last year, while the overall PC market shrank by 7.6%.
A Tough Comparison with Q3 2022
One of the main reasons for Apple’s steep drop in PC shipments was the unusually high demand for its products in the third quarter of 2022, when the company rushed to fulfill orders that were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Apple’s PC shipments surged by 38.9% year-over-year in Q3 2022, reaching a record high of 9.4 million units.
However, as the pandemic situation improved and supply chains stabilized, Apple faced a tough comparison with its stellar performance in the previous year. The company also faced increased competition from other PC makers, especially in the education and enterprise segments, where Chromebooks and Windows devices gained popularity.
A Slow Path to Recovery for the PC Industry
Despite Apple’s disappointing results, some analysts believe that the PC industry is on a slow path to recovery, as device refresh cycles and the end of support for Windows 10 will boost sales in the second half of 2024 and beyond. Moreover, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in PCs could be a watershed moment for the industry, as it would enable new use cases and applications for consumers and professionals.
According to IDC, Lenovo was the top PC vendor in Q3 2023, with 16 million units shipped and a 23.5% market share. HP was the only manufacturer that saw positive growth, with a 6.4% increase in shipments and a 19.8% market share. Dell ranked third, with a 15% market share and a 14.3% decline in shipments. Apple came in fourth, with a 10.6% market share and a 23.1% decline in shipments. Asus rounded out the top five, with a 7.1% market share and a 10.7% decline in shipments.
What’s Next for Apple?
Apple is expected to launch new models of its MacBook Pro laptops later this month, featuring its own M1X chip and a redesigned chassis. The company may also introduce new versions of its iMac desktops and Mac mini computers next year, as it completes its transition from Intel processors to its own silicon. These new products could help Apple regain some of its lost market share and attract more customers with its performance and battery life advantages.
However, Apple will also have to contend with the ongoing global chip shortage, which could limit its production capacity and increase its costs. The company will also have to deal with the regulatory pressures and legal challenges it faces in various markets, such as the antitrust investigations in Europe and the US, and the Epic Games lawsuit over its App Store policies.
Apple’s PC shipments may have suffered a big blow in Q3 2023, but the company still has a loyal fan base and a strong brand reputation. Whether it can bounce back from this setback and maintain its competitiveness in the PC industry remains to be seen.