Slowing computer demand finally catches up to Mac | Cult of Mac

Slowing computer demand finally catches up to Mac


2023 MacBook Pro in 16-inch and 14-inch versions
Even the speed-boosted 2023 MacBook Pro couldn't bring up Mac shipments.
Image: Apple

Mac shipments declined a jaw-dropping 41% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023, according to a market-analysis firm. It seems Apple finally joined other PC makers in seeing reduced shipments of traditional computers.

Mac shipments immune to slowing computer sales… until now

The pandemic brought a surge in sales of computers of all types. But in the post-pandemic months, sales of Windows computers declined sharply. Many of those who had upgraded their PC while working from home didn’t need a new model now.

But Apple appeared immune to the problem. In 2022, Mac shipments increased 2.5% when compared to the previous year. Shipments were up 40% in Q3 of last year, for example. In comparison, the top PC makers saw an average annual decline of 16% in 2022.

What a difference a year makes. In the first quarter of 2023, Mac shipments totaled 4.1 million, reports IDC. That’s down from 6.9 million in the same quarter of 2022.

There had been reason for optimism about Mac shipments in the first three months of this year. In January, Apple released speed-boosted versions of the MacBook Pro and Mac mini with the M2, M2 Pro or M2 Max processors.

Windows shipments down, too

But it’s not like shoppers turned to Windows, instead. No computer maker had a good quarter.

Lenovo’s shipments were down 30% in the first quarter when compared to Q1 2022, said IDC. And HP’s declined 24%, Dell was off 31% and Asus’s shipments dropped 30%.

IDC blamed the drop in Windows/Mac PC shipments on “weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate.”

And the market-analysis firm doesn’t expect a turnaround until near the end of this year and into 2024 as computers bought during the pandemic start to show their age.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.