Global PC shipments suffer biggest drop in 7 years

Global personal computer shipments dropped the most since 2013 in the first quarter, after the Covid-19 pandemic ensnared the Chinese supply-chain and created production problems for major hardware companies.

PC makers shipped 51.6 million laptops, desktops and workstations in the first three months of 2020, a 12% decrease compared with a year earlier, research firm Gartner Inc. said Monday in a statement. Analyst IDC pegged the decline at 9.8%.

“Following the first lockdown in China in late January, there was lower PC production volume in February that turned into logistics challenges,” Mikako Kitagawa, a research director at Gartner, said in a statement.

China-based Lenovo Group Ltd. kept the No. 1 spot among PC vendors, with about 24% of the market, Gartner and IDC agreed. HP Inc. remained the second-largest player with about 22% share. Dell Technologies Inc. held third place.

China is the world’s largest maker of PCs. Coronavirus-related factory shutdowns early this year led to shortages for major manufacturers of the machines.

When Covid-19 caused governments around the world to issue stay-at-home orders, some consumers rushed to buy PCs, but there was crimped supply, according to analysts for Gartner and IDC.

Businesses and most consumers are now expected to hold onto PCs for longer amid economic disruptions caused by the pandemic, Gartner said.

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Global PC shipments suffer biggest drop in 7 years