PC sales slow in 2022 after pandemic recovery begins

Laptops on a shop display
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Global shipments of PCs have declined 5.1% in the first quarter of 2022 but exceeded earlier forecasts.

The PC shipments include desktops, notebooks, and workstations, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The IDC said that the PC market is coming off two years of double-digit growth, so while the first-quarter decline is a change in this momentum, it doesn’t mean the industry is in a downward spiral.

Despite ongoing supply chain and logistical challenges, vendors still shipped 80.5 million PCs during the quarter. This was also the seventh consecutive quarter where global shipments surpassed 80 million, something not seen since 2012.

"The focus shouldn't be on the year-over-year decline in PC volumes because that was to be expected. The focus should be on the PC industry managing to ship more than 80 million PCs at a time when logistics and supply chain are still a mess, accompanied by numerous geopolitical and pandemic-related challenges," said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

Reith added that IDC has witnessed some slowdown in both the education and consumer markets, but all indicators show demand for commercial PCs remains very strong. He also thinks the consumer market will pick up again in the near future.

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IDC also found that the rankings among the top vendors remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

Lenovo remained the top company with a 22.7% market share, followed by HP (19.7%), Dell (17.1%), and Apple (8.9%). This was followed by Asus (6.9%) and Acer (5.8%). The only top vendors that saw year-on-year shipment growth were Dell, Apple, and Asus.

IDC said that because of the ongoing supply chain shortages and a challenging comparison to a strong first quarter of 2021, notebook PCs saw a year-on-year decline while desktops grew slightly.

In 2020, the worldwide PC market saw a third quarter of successive growth, with Q4 shipments up 25% year-on-year. In April 2021, Lenovo led the booming PC market once again, with global sales continuing to increase due to the shift to remote working. Gartner estimated that it was Lenovo’s fastest year-on-year growth in two decades.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.