Apple's notebook shipments plummet

The company's shipments in the first three months of 2016 fell by 40 percent from the holiday-shopping quarter -- a plunge more than double the drop among the top notebook vendors as a whole.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Notebook shipments suffered a painful first quarter.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple was clobbered by a huge tumble in notebook shipments last quarter.

The company's shipments fell 40 percent in the first quarter of 2016 over the final quarter of 2015, market researcher TrendForce said Tuesday. Apple's plunge was the largest decline among the top eight notebook vendors worldwide. Overall, the top eight sellers saw notebook shipments drop 19 percent in the first quarter to 35.2 million units.

TrendForce pointed to the lack of new MacBooks and Apple's failure to lower prices of existing MacBooks to boost sales after the holiday-shopping season.

First-quarter results always fall following a surge over the holidays. But the first-quarter shipments also showed a 7.3 percent decline from the same quarter last year.

The PC market has been in a free fall the past several years as more people have opted for big-screen smartphones and tablets over desktops and laptops. At the same time, more people have hung onto their notebooks longer rather than refreshing them every few years. Microsoft's launch last summer of its new Windows 10 operating system, usually a catalyst for Windows PC sales, hasn't contributed much.


The various drops in sales shifted around the vendors' rankings. Lenovo stole the No. 1 slot from HP. That's because Lenovo's decline was only 10 percent, whereas HP's was 21 percent. Dell remained in third place, helped by shipments to business customers. Asus held onto fourth place despite a drop in shipments of 29 percent, while Acer jumped one notch to fifth place with a decline in shipments of 24.7 percent.

Apple, Toshiba and Samsung made up the rest of the top notebook vendors. Samsung was the only one to show a rise in notebooks shipments (43 percent) as it increased its small reach into more markets. For 2016 as a whole, TrendForce expects global notebook shipments to fall by 4 or 5 percent.