China is the world’s leading manufacturing hub for computer hardware, with over 90% of the notebook supply chain hosted there. Problems for tech shipments began as early as last month, according to Digitimes.
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Dell and Lenovo were the only global top-five brands to ship over 1 million notebooks in February, with Dell taking the prize as the largest brand worldwide for the second consecutive month. HP, Asustek and Apple all fell below this metric.
This is likely due in part to Dell having its ODM partners keep some workers at plants over the Lunar New Year holidays, while Lenovo’s production lines in Hefei, China were able to resume a production rate of nearly 60% even with the outbreak, the report said.
And while Asus missed the 1 million shipments mark, it suffered a lower production decline than Dell, putting it in competition with Lenovo in maintaining its infrastructure.
HP, meanwhile, had a 50% decline for on-month February shipments, due to not arranging any Lunar New Year production and having factories located in Chongqing, where rules for resuming production after the outbreak were stricter. Apple’s stats, as expected, are less openly available.
Overall, China’s top three ODMs experienced a combined on-month decline of 42% in shipments last month, with Quanta dropping slightly more than the other two due to being slower to resume production. While China’s coronavirus situation does seem to be improving, Digitimes expects labor shortages to continue to impact notebook and laptop brands in the near future as ODMs struggle to obtain components from related makers.