New computers, especially laptops, were difficult to find in 2020 as millions of people switched to working from home. That spike in sales numbers has long since passed, which might be good news for you.
A new industry report from IDC states that worldwide PC shipments dropped again in the first quarter of 2023, marking the fourth quarter in a row where PC shipments dropped by double digits. PC shipments were down 29% in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022, with the quarter before that being a 26% drop. Notably, PC sales are now below pre-COVID levels — the estimated 56.9 million shipments for Q1 2023 is lower than the 59.2 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2019. A report from another analysis firm, Canalys, claims the drop from Q1 2022 is actually 33%.
The IDC cites “weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate” as contributing factors for the continued drop. The overall economy is definitely a factor, as many people aren’t eager to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new computer when they could be affected by the next round of layoffs. The weak demand and excess inventory are two sides of the same coin — many people rushed to buy new computers as working from home spiked in 2020 and 2021, and many of those devices don’t need to be updated just yet.
The declining numbers aren’t great for, say, Intel or Apple, but they are great for the rest of us. Excess inventory means more sales with bigger discounts, so right now it’s easier to buy one of the best laptops or a desktop PC without breaking the bank. Take the M2 Mac Mini, for example — it was already an incredible deal at a starting price of $699, and now it’s even cheaper at $549. The Acer Aspire 5 is our pick for the best budget laptop right now, and it’s 25% off the original price right now, at $400.
You won’t find every PC on sale, and even the sale price might be more than you were used to paying for new computers a few years ago — global economic inflation and supply chain problems are still factors. Still, now might be the best time in the past few years to upgrade your home computers.
Source: Canalys, IDC
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