PC monitor demand shrinks for first time since pandemic began

A developer using two monitors while sitting on his desk
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The global demand for PC monitors is “cooling” following five consecutive quarters of year-over-year shipment growth.

This is according to market researcher IDC, which found that the global PC monitor market has declined by 7.2% compared to the same quarter in 2020 – from 37.5 million to 34,8 million units.

This marks the first year-over-year drop in shipments since the start of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.

IDC has attributed the decline to “softening in consumer demand” in North American and Western European markets, as well as supply constraints and changing spending priorities.

In October, supply chain issues were also blamed for leading the “US PC market into its first quarter of annual shipment decline since the beginning of the pandemic,” according to IDC senior research analyst Neha Mahajan.

In comparison, the market research company today stated that countries in the APAC region are continuing to show solid demand and fulfil backorders for PC monitors.

Commenting on the findings, Jay Chou, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker, said that the analyst house expects the PC monitor market to “achieved peak volume as we end 2021 with the highest shipment levels since 2012”.


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"Even as things settle back down, we still see areas of opportunity in the years ahead. Commercial segments will once again be the main driver of this space, but consumers will also refresh upon a much bigger installed base, which expanded during these challenging times," he said.

"We believe the changes wrought by the permanency of hybrid work and flexible learning will enable faster refresh rates across all user segments,” he added.

The news comes after IDC observed a 29.8% year-on-year decline in Chromebook shipments and a 9.4% drop in tablet shipments in the third quarter of 2021, after a record growth period during the pandemic. The fall in demand had been credited to decreasing restrictions in many regions and reopening offices.

However, offices in many parts of the world, including the UK, have since been closed due to the new Omicron variant, meaning that hybrid and remote working could lead to renewed demand in 2022.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.