None of the big PC makers have managed to crawl out of the muck of 2022 declines, and new data shows that Apple’s been among the hardest hit. According to an industry report, Apple has significantly scaled back shipments of its MacBooks and other computers in the first few months of 2023, pointing to a significant drop in Mac sales compared to previous years.
An industry report from research firm IDC released Sunday shows Apple Mac shipments dropped more than 40% in the first three months of 2023 compared to the same time last year. The number of shipments dropped from 6.9 million to 4.1 million, and its total PC market share also declined from 8.6% to 7.2% year over year.
These shipments include units destined for both industry and individual sales, although tablets and smartphones have been excluded from the numbers. This latest news adds to previous reports that Apple halted all production of its M2 series chips for MacBooks at the start of this year. According to said reports, the company only started making more of its proprietary silicon, at half its previous rate, in March.
Practically every other major computer company also suffered at the start of 2023. Dell, HP, ASUS, and Lenovo all scaled back shipments by nearly 25% or more, though Apple scaled back hardest, according to the report.
Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. Back in February, Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told investors the company expected Mac and iPad revenue to “decline double digits year over year” due to the usual claim of “macroeconomic headwinds,” as well as “challenging” launches of its M2 MacBooks compared to previous models.
The IDC report mentions that this is just a “coda” to pre-2022 covid-era PC demands, though the first quarter PC shipments were also significantly lower than the totals shipped in the first quarters of both 2018 and 2019. The report also mentions that this dip in the supply chain gives companies like Apple room to move some production outside of China, a tactic that’s been speculated on by analysts cited by The Wall Street Journal.
Apple has reportedly been scaling back work on certain projects while pushing some of its big tech announcements. While the Cupertino company is reportedly delaying any new upcoming Homepod, it’s still pushing its upcoming mixed reality headset with expected first looks coming at WWDC 2023 in June. The company has also put more emphasis on its employees coming into the office amid efforts to stave off layoffs. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman followed up that Apple has cut some corporate positions. Though he hasn’t revealed the number of staff given the ax, the Bloomberg writer said it was “nowhere near” other recent big tech layoffs.
Gurman’s report also mentioned Apple is actively trying to push anti-unionization efforts. According to Gurman, the company fielded Q&As and information sessions promoting anti-union topics during its usual Daily Downloads talks. These talks reportedly included mentions of union dues Apple staff pay at the Townson, Maryland store, alongside accusations of the union giving preferential treatment to longtime employees. The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has previously accused Apple of union busting tactics after allegedly forcing employees into anti-union meetings at an Atlanta Apple store. The board has also accused the company of similar tactics at one of its New York City locations.
Gizmodo also asked Apple about these anti-union efforts across its entire retail apparatus, but we have yet to hear back.
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