PC shipments start falling sharply on the back of stronger years

  • This week research firms Gartner and IDC published reports regarding PC shipments for Q4 2022. 
  • Unsurprisingly a massive decline was reported, with a 28 percent fall recorded compared to the same quarter last year.
  • A number of factors have contributed to this, including a strong 2021 and looming global recession.

With the dust having settled from CES 2023 in Las Vegas, it looks like the entire consumer electronics industry is bracing for a tough time ahead. Proof of this comes in the form of two reports on PC shipments published this week by research firms IDC and Gartner.

The pair both note declines in terms of PC shipments, with Gartner estimating it as 28.5 percent for Q4 2022 compared to the same period last year. As for IDC, it shared a similar figure of 28.1 percent, also noting that the figures are comparable to Q4 of 2018, which was marred by constraints at Intel.

Looking at the entirety of 2022, PC shipments for the year fell by 16 percent compared to 2021. As such, this latest quarter’s results are not out of the blue, and in keeping with a trend seen through most of the year.

That said, according to the analysts at both firms, there are a number of external factors influencing the current decline. To that end, 2021 was a banner year for PC shipments, as many consumers looked to upgrade during the pandemic as a result of working remotely and spending more time indoors.

As such, there was naturally going to be a downturn as the majority of consumers who were willing to pay for a new PC, had done so.

Added to this, is the fact that a global recession is looming large on the back of continuing conflict in Ukraine and the impact it is having on worldwide economics.

“2021 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,” explained Ryan Reith, group VP with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.

“The enterprise PC market is also being impacted by a slowing economy. PC 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,” added Mikako Kitagawa, director analyst at Gartner.

With these external factors only set to continue, the coming quarters will likely follow the same declining trend, which means companies will need to find different ways of convincing consumers to purchase new hardware.

[Image – Photo by Surface on Unsplash]


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