back to article PC shipments went over a cliff in Q1, which may be only moderately terrifying

Global PC sales fell markedly in Q1 2020, but that may not be an entirely bad thing. While the three analyst firms that release PC shipment data early in each new quarter disagree on the extent of the shipment slump and its ramifications, each has nasty numbers to share. In alphabetical order: Canalys believes shipments fell …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    And yet only a week or so ago we were being told how every available box with a CPU in it was being hoovered up to support working at home.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Every available LAPTOP box

      After being shagged around by HP playing silly buggers - pulling bait-and-switch AND not installing ordered parts on Elitedesk 800s (but still billing for them!), then getting offensively condescending responses from HP Europe's enterprise channel managers, I'm probably not alone in casting around for other vendors.

      Having it happen via one vendor, one assume it's the vendor. Having it happen via the OTHER authorised vendors makes it clear where the problem is.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      I expect that we'll see a slight jump because of home sales but if the current economic predictions turn out to be correct then the overall decline will be universal for the next year.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes I've had 4 or 5 people in work asking me "which laptop should I buy for my kid for home schoolwork" only to find that *all* decent options at all major outlets were completely sold out. And this was in multiple countries (I have an international job). All that was left was some no-name brand Celeron N4000 junk.

      So I don't really understand how this could be so bad. Yes it's only laptops people are after but most computers sold these days *are* laptops. We have 120.000 of them in work and only a few thousand desktop PCs.

      And of course the Corona crisis only really hit the western world in mid March so the figures for the quarter will only affected by the virus for 1/6th of the total period. That is a bit worrying.

  2. a_yank_lurker

    Reading Tea Leaves

    The explanation that the demand drop is due to certain virus is not very good. There were reports that laptops were being scarfed up which should have juiced the numbers. I suspect the actually decline is mostly due to underlying fundamental problems in the market not a certain virus.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Reading Tea Leaves

      That a maxed-out i7-3770 is still a very capable computer 7 years after it launched? And a Core 2-duo from 10 years ago is still useable? Provided of course in both cases, you replace the mechanical hard drive with an SSD.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Reading Tea Leaves

      "The explanation that the demand drop is due to certain virus is not very good"

      These numbers aren't even attributable to the virus.

      Remember that figures are for the period up to _just before_ it went widespread

  3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    "although the end of a PC buying cycle caused by the end of support for Windows 7 also dragged demand down. "

    This could be a big factor. I'm an Ubuntu user*, but I've used Win10 in a VM and real systems and it's not that bad. Full kudos to Microsoft in particular for debloating it.

    But, my friends, if you ask them about Win10, they think it's as bad as Windows 8 and Vista put together, and that it'll immediately send Microsoft all their confidential data (... but at the same time gleefully give away their private info on Facebook...). Win10's default privacy settings are bad but not that bad 8-). This isn't based on ACTUALLY using Win10 or probably even seeing it on a live system, it's like "Oh yeah, I heard Windows 10 insults yo momma when you use it". "Oh good think I'm sticking with Windows 7". One of my friends switched to Ubuntu (with "flashback" desktop instead of the default) and is very happy; even his games run on it (much to my surprise, Wine will run nearly 100% of WIndows software within the past year or two). A few of them have ALEADY put off PC purchases because they won't buy anything with Windows 10; they fully intend to keep their old Win7 systems until they disintegrate, then try to find another used Win7 system that's in better shape than theirs.

    I'm sure now the current situation will be used to conflate the drop from that and the drop from "no Windows 10 for me" people, but I would not be surprised if a large drop is from Win7 going out of support.

    *No Microsoft tax for me; I got the maximum $300 refund check from Microsoft under the antitrust trial years back, and have bought used PCs since other than 1 Dell with Linux preloaded, and a Chromebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win7

      I don't really see as much animosity among the non-tech user community. For them it's just "Windows". Most of them don't even know what version they're running.

      Macs are big on the rise in the home community I've seen but it could be that's skewed as I manage Macs in work (and not Windows) so I get more questions about it.

      Personally I always buy used too, or build my own (when it comes to PC)... I run all 3 major OSes every day, each has their own strengths and weaknesses.

    2. jason_derp

      Re: Win7

      "But, my friends, if you ask them about Win10, they think it's as bad as Windows 8 and Vista put together..."

      I run Ubuntu as well, but I also have a Windows 10 on the same disk for playing video games. You should tell your friends they're wrong. It's worse. So much worse than all of that.

      "I'm an Ubuntu user*..."

      And I know which way you pronounce Ubuntu now! It's not important, I just do, and it always interests me.

  4. Luiz Abdala

    Apple does not sell on home budgets...

    ... but Dell does.

    No, we are not talking about selling a house to buy an Apple, (its usual corporate-sized budget home field is at least 6 figures) but how much a work-from-home boffin needs to spend on a new machine for the kids or for himself...

    ... for those that CAN home-office.

    The coat is for a carpentry project in the basement, I am building new desks for the kids, I'm not leaving the house.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I can say our office hardware refresh has now gone on hold for obvious reasons; though we were the process of moving from Lenovo to Dell before that which shall not be named kicked off. The swap will resume later in the year of course.

    I have something of a hankering to build a new PC for home. With Ryzen 4000 just a couple months away, patience says to me that decent deals are likely to appear on 3000 series in September. Then again, most of the usual online retailers have leftovers from threadripper 1 that haven't really dropped in price despite being superceded in almost all respects by current Ryzen chips. So maybe I'm deluded by the idea that I could get a better deal when the next model appears...

    I'll keep looking, but no matter how much "want" comes into it, my "aging" i7 6700k is still more than adequate for time being.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like