The personal computing market registered its biggest quarterly decline in the fourth quarter of 2022. According to data from IDC, Gartner, and Canalys, PC shipments dropped by more than 28% in Q4 2022 to ~67 million units.
Numbers from both market intelligence companies, IDC and Gartner, indicate that the global PC market has exited the COVID-19-induced consumption boom. PC shipments slid by 28.1%Opens a new window Year-over-Year (YoY) in Q4 2022, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, 28.5%Opens a new window according to Gartner and 29%Opens a new window according to Canalys.
However, the number of PCs shipped in the full year 2022, at 292.3 million units (286.2 million according to Gartner and 223.8 million according to Canalys), is still higher than the numbers from 2019, doesn’t exactly fit into how typical boom and bust cycles go.
Overall, PC makers Lenovo, HP, Apple, Asus, and others shipped 16.5% fewer PCs in 2022 (IDC, Gartner: 16.2% and Canalys: 19%) compared to 2021’s 350.1 million. So it isn’t a stretch to say that the highs of 2021 won’t be surpassed in 2023, as Mikako Kitagawa, director analyst at Gartner, explained.
â€œSince many consumers already have relatively new PCs that were purchased during the pandemic, a lack of affordability is superseding any motivation to buy, causing consumer PC demand to drop to its lowest level in years,â€ said Kitagawa. â€œThe enterprise PC market is also being impacted by a slowing economy.â€
â€œPC demand among enterprises began declining in the third quarter of 2022, but the market has now shifted from softness to deterioration. Enterprise buyers are extending PC lifecycles and delaying purchases, meaning the business market will likely not return to growth until 2024.â€
Nevertheless, the fact that 2021 was an exceptional year in terms of PC sales translates into a higher benchmark for 2022. Let us see how the numbers look with 2019 and 2020 as the base year based on IDC’s data to get a clearer picture.
|Quarter||PC Shipments (Units in millions)||YoY % Change||% Change with base year as 2019||% Change with base year as 2020||% Change with base year as 2021|
The above table illustrates the change for Q4 over the years, while the following table shows the difference in PC shipments for the last four calendar years.
|Year||PC Shipments (Units in millions)||YoY % Change||% Change with base year as 2019||% Change with base year as 2020||
% Change with base year as 2021
â€œConsecutive quarters of declines clearly paint a gloomy picture of the PC market, but this is really all about perception,â€ said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
â€œ2021 was near historic levels for PC shipments, so any comparison is going to be distorted. There’s no question when we look back at this time that the rise and fall of the PC market will be one for the record books, but plenty of opportunity still lies ahead. We firmly believe the market has the potential to recover in 2024 and we also see pockets of opportunity throughout the remainder of 2023.â€
The top five PC vendors, viz., Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Asus, were all in the red in Q4 2022, most registering a slowdown of over 28%, barring Apple (-2.1%).
Apple was also the only major vendor to have increased PC sales in the 2022 calendar year, with a rise of 2.5%. Asus PC shipments slid by 5.7% in the 2022 calendar year, while shipments from the remaining three declined a minimum of 16%.
IDC’s data varies significantly from that of Gartner and Canalys in terms of individual companies. For instance, Apple’s full-year PC sales grew by 2.5%, according to IDC but declined by 10.2% and 6.2%, according to Gartner and Canalys, respectively. The following table breaks down 2022 PC sales data from IDC, Gartner and Canalys.
PC Shipment (Full Year 2022)
|YoY Change||PC Shipment (Full Year 2022)||YoY Change||PC Shipment (Full Year 2022)||
However, as the â€˜Total’ column indicates, the aggregated data is more or less the same.
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