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Worldwide PC shipments suffer ‘biggest ever decline’

Gartner found that enterprises are extending PC lifecycles and delaying purchases due to a number of variables

Global PC shipments have declined to record levels, according to new figures based on last quarter's results.

The total number of shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 65.3 million, according to Gartner, 28.5% decline which the company said was the biggest quarterly shipment decline it has recorded since it started tracking the PC market in the mid-1990s.

For the year of 2022, Gartner recorded a total of 286.2 million PC shipments, which again was a decrease from the previous year to the tune of 16.2%.

Gartner also found that in the first half of 2022, higher PC inventory levels started to build up, which resulted in a bottleneck for the market. Throughout 2021, there was a low PC supply caused by high demand and supply chain disruptions. However, this turned into an excess of supply once demand slowed.

“The anticipation of a global recession, increased inflation, and higher interest rates have had a major impact on PC demand,” said Mikako Kitagawa, director analyst at Gartner.

“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 in years.

“The enterprise PC market is also being impacted by a slowing economy,” she added. “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.”

Total PC shipments in 2022 reached around 286 million units. Kitagawa said this was close to pre-COVID levels, with shipments in 2019 coming to well below 300 million units. She predicted that the market has begun a downward trend which is set to continue until the start of 2024.

Vendor comparison

The top three vendors in the global PC market stayed the same in the fourth quarter of 2022. Lenovo retained the number one spot with 15.6 million shipments, followed by HP with 13.2 million, and then Dell with 10.8 million shipments.

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The gap in the market then widened, as these three companies were followed by Apple with 7 million shipments, Asus with 4.8 million, and Acer with 3.5 million shipments.

However, while Lenovo had a 24% market share, it suffered its steepest growth decline (-28.6%) since Gartner began tracking the PC market. Its shipments decreased in all global regions except in Japan, with a 30% decline in EMEA and Latin America.

HP and Dell were also hit with steep declines. The former experienced a 44% year-over-year decrease in the EMEA market. Dell also experienced weak demand in the large business market which affected its shipments in the second part of 2022.

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