TrendForce: Apple sees 40% quarterly decline in Mac laptop sales

Worldwide notebook shipments in the first quarter of 2016 arrived at 35.62 million units, according to TrendForce. What’s more, the global market research firm says Apple saw a 40% quarterly decline in Mac laptop sales.

“In the first quarter, Apple did not have any new MacBook products ready for the market, nor did it lower MacBook prices to generate sales. Apple’s Wintel-based competitors, on the other hand, benefitted from Windows 10 and the steady supply of Intel’s Skylake CPUs,” says TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang. “They were able to have numerous new products ready to promote and ship. As a result, MacBook shipments suffered a massive quarterly decline of 40.4% in the first quarter and Apple retreated to the sixth place in the ranking.”

Of course, the first quarter is the traditional off season for the notebook market and retailers still needed time to clear out their existing inventories. Total shipments fell 19% from the prior quarter and also declined 7.3% year-on-year. Wang said the first-quarter notebook market was further affected by “noises and speculations.”

For instance, the report of Microsoft planning to raise the operating system license fees had a serious impact on the outlooks of branded Wintel notebook vendors. Additionally, prices of components such as HDDs have been rising, causing the cost of the entire notebook system to go up as well. For these reasons, Wang says notebook brands have become more conservative in their demand forecasts for the year. Based on TrendForce’s latest analysis, this year’s notebook shipments will register an annual decline of around 4~5%.

Lenovo replaced HP as the leading notebook brand by shipments in the first quarter. HP is in second place, Dell in third, ASUS in fourth, Acer in fifth, and Apple in sixth, according to TrendForce.