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As workers moved from office to home and students moved to being educated online, demand for new PCs surged in Q1, but Canalys found that shipments actually dropped 8% in spite of this, due to COVID-19 related supply chain problems.

The 8% drop was the worst since 2016 when shipments dropped 12%, according to the firm. Companies were looking to get new machines into the hands of employees who normally worked on desktop machines in the office, while parents were buying machines for children suddenly going to school online.

Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys says that products were flying off the shelves in Q1, but the PC makers couldn’t keep up with demand as supplies were limited due to a number of factors.

“…PC makers started 2020 with a constrained supply of Intel processors, caused by a botched transition to 10nm nodes. This was exacerbated when factories in China were unable to reopen after the Lunar New Year holidays.

“The slowdown in supply met with accelerated demand, as businesses were suddenly forced to equip a newly remote workforce, placing urgent orders for tens of thousands of PCs. Children, too, needed their own PCs, as schools closed and lessons went online,” Doshi explained in a statement.

Lenovo and HP owned the lion’s share of the PC market in Q1 with 23.9% and 21.8% share respectively. Dell was in third with 19.6%. Apple was well behind in fourth place with just 6% of worldwide market share.

Only Dell projected positive growth with a modest 1.1% annual rate. All others were projected to be negative with Apple projecting the sharpest drop at -21%.

The good news is that from a revenue perspective, at least for the short term, these companies could command higher prices due to high demand and low supply, but overall the year looks bleak for PC makers, as Canalys predicts the rest of the year will see a further drop in sales as companies cut back on purchases, and consumers also likely limit purchases with so much economic uncertainty and demand satisfied for the short term.


TechCrunch

The U.S. State Department has issued an unprecedented “do not travel” warning to U.S. citizens, as the number of coronavirus-related infections jumped sharply overnight.

The advisory said U.S. citizens should “avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19,” the coronavirus strain which last week was declared a global pandemic. The advisory added that citizens abroad should “arrange for immediate return” unless they are prepared to stay overseas indefinitely.

The warning was published Thursday, where the official count for coronavirus cases hit 220,000 infections around the world, with more than 10,000 cases in the United States alone.

Several countries have closed their borders and restricted travel to their citizens and residents in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

This week, the European Union closed the so-called Schengen border which covers the 27 member state bloc, and the U.S. closed its border with Canada to all but essential travel and trade.

The pandemic has seen stocks and global financial markets tank, prompting governments to inject cash and slash interest rates to try to keep their economies afloat.


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