PC sales start to slow after two years of pandemic-driven growth

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Following two years of double-digit growth, global shipments of personal computing devices declined 5% in the first quarter of 2022, according to research carried out by the analyst house IDC.

Even with global sales slowing to start the year, vendors still shipped 80.5 million laptop, desktop, notebook and workstation devices during the first quarter of 2022, marking the seventh consecutive quarter where global shipments surpassed 80 million. That’s the longest sustained period of more than 80 million global PC shipments since 2012.

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The top vendors in the market have remained unchanged since the fourth quarter of 2021, with Lenovo holding a 23% market share. At Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the company announced a host of new ThinkPad, IdeaPad and tablet devices, all aimed at better enabling remote and hybrid working.

HP and Dell Technologies both experienced double-digit market growth share this quarter too, at 20% and 17% respectively. Apple were ranked fourth by IDC’s tracker and fifth place was shared by ASUS and Acer.

The research also found that, partly due to ongoing supply chain shortages

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, notebook PCs saw a year-over-year decline, while desktops grew slightly. Dell, Apple, and ASUS were the only major vendors that saw year-over-year shipment growth.

Commenting on the results, Ryan Reith, group vice president for IDC’s worldwide mobile device trackers, said that the focus “shouldn’t be on the year-over-year decline in PC volumes, because that was to be expected” but rather the ability for the industry to still manage 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.”

Jay Chou, research manager for IDC’s quarterly PC monitor tracker echoed his thoughts, noting that “aside from commercial spending on PCs, there are still emerging markets where demand had been neglected in the earlier periods of the pandemic, and higher end consumer demand also has held up.”

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