PC demand 'soared' in Q1 2020, but limited supply cut shipments

Lenovo Yoga A940
Lenovo Yoga A940 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • PC shipments declined eight percent in Q1 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
  • While demand surged with the rise of remote work, supply constraints kept PC makers from stemming the decline in shipments.
  • Lenovo once again took the top spot among manufacturers in units shipped.

PC shipments fell by eight percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the latest report from research firm Canalys. That's the largest drop since 2016, but it's in spite of surging demand.

According to Canalys, PC makers saw demand "soar" in Q1 as more workers and students began working from home during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. However, constraints on the supply chain meant a drop in shipments.

"The PC industry has been boosted by the global COVID-19 lockdown, with products flying off the shelves throughout Q1," said Canalys research director Rushabh Doshi. "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."

Heading into Q2, Canalys doesn't see the surge in demand holding steady. "Few businesses will be spending on technology for there offices, while many homes will have been freshly equipped," says Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt. "A global recession has begun — businesses will go bankrupt, with millions newly unemployed."

Canalys Pc Market Q1 2020

Source: Canalys (Image credit: Source: Canalys)

The landscape of PC makers remained relatively unchanged in Q1 2020, with Lenovo once again taking the top spot at 12.8 million units shipped. HP and Dell followed with 11.7 million and 10.5 million units, respectively. According to Canalys, Apple saw the steepest decline, with shipments falling by 20 percent to 3.2 million units.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl