PC shipments haven’t been this bad since 2007, and Apple is seeing a big Mac slump

The PC industry just had its lowest single quarter of shipments since 2007, according to a new report from analyst firm Gartner.

Worldwide shipments of PCs fell 4.3% in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2016. That marked the 11th straight quarter that shipments have declined in the industry.

The reason for the latest drop, per Gartner: There’s a shortage of components like memory and LCD screens that are driving up manufacturing costs. While some vendors just absorbed the higher costs, others hiked their PC prices, leading to lower overall demand.

The story was even worse in the US. Here, overall PC shipments dropped 5.7%. Gartner chalked it up to weak demand, particularly in the education sector, where customers are switching to Chromebooks, which Gartner doesn’t include in its PC shipment numbers.

The slump in the US hit Asus hardest. The company saw its US shipments fall 40.7% last quarter when compared with the same period in 2016.

But Apple and its Mac computer lineup took some lumps, too. Mac shipments declined 9.6% in the US over the same period.

It wasn’t all bad news, though. HP saw its US shipments jump 6.5% in the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2016. Worldwide, HP’s shipments grew 3.3 per cent. The company, which became the top PC vendor in the second quarter, wresting the lead from Lenovo, has now shown growth in its global PC shipments for five straight quarters.

While Gartner doesn’t include sales of Apple iPads or Google’s low-cost Chromebook laptops in its PC shipment numbers — reasoning that they don’t generally compete for the same users as the mainstream PC — the firm does say that Chromebooks are growing like crazy. In 2016, worldwide Chromebook shipments grew 38% from the prior year, far outpacing the 6% shrinkage of the overall global PC market, it says.

Gartner’s figures for second quarter shipments are all preliminary and subject to revision after the PC makers publicly release their actual numbers. The research firm’s preliminary estimates have occasionally differed significantly from the those reported by PC manufacturers.

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