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PC market down by 30% in 2022 as weak consumer demand dampens outlook

By Adeyemi Adepetun
18 January 2023   |   2:51 am
The PC market suffered a downright dismal end to 2022, and there could be worse to come in 2023. Three big analyst firms published stats this week that project further decline in PC shipments.


The PC market suffered a downright dismal end to 2022, and there could be worse to come in 2023.  Three big analyst firms published stats this week that project further decline in PC shipments. The consensus from Gartner, IDC, and Canalys is that fourth quarter shipments came in at somewhere around65-68 million units, down almost 30 per cent compared to last year.
   
Dell had a particularly tough time of it, with shipments falling more than 30 per cent year-on-year to 10.8 million units, according to IDC and Canalys.
   
Overall, Gartner said Q4 2022 marks the largest quarterly shipment decline since it began tracking the PC market almost30 years ago, while Canalys pointed out that it marked the fourth consecutive quarter of declines.
   
According to Telecoms.com, the silver lining is that the PC market was due a comedown from its pandemic-induced high, when housebound consumers were prepared to blow their holiday money on some new tech to make lockdown life more bearable.
   
Group Vice President of IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, Ryan Reith, said:

“Consecutive quarters of declines clearly paint a gloomy picture of the PC market, but this is really all about perception. 2021 was near historic levels for PC shipments, so any comparison is going to be distorted.”

  
Gartner put full-year 2022 volume at 286.2million units, broadly in line with 2019. Meanwhile, Canalys’ and IDC’s figures added up to 285.1 million and 292.3 million respectively, and both of them said this represents an increase in pre-pandemic shipments.
   
This barely qualifies as a crumb of comfort though, because the worsening economic outlook means fewer people are prepared to cough up for a new PC.
Director Analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa, in a statement, said: “The anticipation of a global recession, increased inflation and higher interest rates has had a major impact on PC demand. Since 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 inyears.”
   
On the commercial side of the market, “both public and private sector budgets faced tightening amid rising interest rates, slowdowns in hiring, and expectations of a recession early this year,” noted Canalys Senior Analyst, Ishan Dutt.
   
Canalys polled 250 channel partners last month and found that 60 per cent of them expect their PC business revenue to remain flat or decline in 2023.
   
“This challenging environment for the PC industry is anticipated to last until the second half of this year,” Dutt said.

This tallies with Reith at IDC’s view that “the market has the potential to recover in 2024 and we also see pockets of opportunity throughout the remainder of 2023.”

 

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