Global PC shipments are still expanding but the pace was more moderate in calendar Q3 following a US slowdown in spending caused by the gridlock in the supply chain.
According to preliminary figures released today by IDC, sales into the channel went up by 3.9 per cent to 86.652 million units - this is the sixth consecutive quarter of growth but the first time since the pandemic that a single digit percentage rise was recorded.
"The PC industry continues to be hampered by supply and logistical challenges," said Jitesh Ubrani, IDC research manager, "and unfortunately these issues have not seen much improvement in recent months."
IDC highlighted the dip in shipments stateside, saying it was caused by "Bottlenecked supply chains and ongoing logistic challenges," and was compared against an unusually strong sales period a year earlier.
"After a year of accelerated buying driven by the shift to remote work and learning, there's also been a competitive slowdown in PC spending and that has caused some softening of the US PC market," said Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst.
"Yet, supply clearly remains behind demand in key segments with inventory still below normal levels," he added.
Only Dell Technologies and Apple grew above the market average, with the Texan PC maker reported as growing 26.6 per cent to 15.18 million units shipped, and Apple shipping 7.645 million Macs, up 9.9 per cent.
Lenovo grew 3.1 per cent to 19.77 million, HP shrank 5.8 per cent to 17.59 million and Acer and Asus tied in fifth spot, expanding 3.6 and 1.4 per cent respectively to 6 million and 5.982 million PCs.
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As world + dog knows, PCs became the centre of many people's universe as governments initiated lockdowns to counter the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The total size of the global market swelled last year to highs not seen since 2010. But like the rest of the industry, a shortage of semiconductors has limited the production of finished goods.
Another round of price rises is now expected by distributors and resellers, following previous hikes over the summer.
At the Canalys Channel Forum last week, Fiona O'Brien, EMEA chief channel officer and head of operations at Lenovo, said the IT sector will be "living" with shortages "for some time to come," warning of heightened component and an explosion in logistics costs.
"It's not a rush to increase prices, for sure, but we have to be aware that with all of the dynamics going on in the industry at the moment, it is inevitable. It has been happening and unfortunately it will continue to happen until some of those large obstacles can be overcome." ®