The tough start to the year experienced by PC retailers in the U.S. has likely continued in the second. IDC estimate North American sales dropped on a year earlier in the first quarter. Panjiva data indicates shipments fell 0.7% in April and may have dropped 18.3% in May based on seaborne data. Furthermore, the value per unit of laptops fell 0.7% – the first drop since August 2016.
The only notable brightspot was all-in-one systems, which grew 6.6% in April possibly reflecting some success for systems like Microsoft’s Surface. The business segment also likely took a step backwards with serverimports having dropped 4.4%.
Data through August based on imports via all routes, lower chart shows total units through April, seaborne shipments only for May Source: Panjiva
Acer may have passed its best, with a 38.9% drop in units imported by sea on a year earlier in May bringing its quarterly average to just 6.6% higher than a year before. Not all manufacturers are suffering however. Seaborne laptop imports associated with Dell climbed to their highest since May 2016 after climbing 12.6%. That left the quarterly rolling total 24.9% higher than a year prior. Among the original design manufacturers (ODMs) Compal has performed the best with shipments rising 102% on a year earlier in the past three months.
COMPAL COMPUTES GROWTH
Chart shows imports of laptop, all-in-one, stand-alone and servers qualified by company name. Values shown on a three-month rolling basis Source: Panjiva
Compal’s success partly reflects output from its Chinese factories, where it has outperformed the average. Chinese exports of laptops fell 0.5% on a year earlier in April, though as was the case in the U.S. other models – particularly stand-alones – did better. As a result total PC exports actually increased 4.8% in the past three months. Compal’s Chinese factories’exports have climbed 27.3% in the three months to April 30, leading Inventec’s 24.4% growth.
DESKTOPS TOP, LAPTOPS DOWN
Chart segments Chinese computer exports by system type Source: Panjiva
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