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IDC, Gartner: 2022 PC Demand Dropped To Its ‘Lowest Level In Years’

Joseph F. Kovar

‘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 life cycles and delaying purchases, meaning the business market will likely not return to growth until 2024,’ says Mikako Kitagawa, director analyst at Gartner.

Tough Year For The PC Business

2022 proved to be a very difficult year for PC sales, according to top IT industry research firms IDC and Gartner.

Gartner this week estimated fourth-quarter 2022 PC shipments fell year to year by 28.5 percent to 65.3 million units, and full-year 2022 shipments fell 16.2 percent to 286.2 million units .

Mikako Kitagawa, director analyst at Gartner, said in a statement that global recession, increased inflation and higher interest rates have had a major impact on PC demand. Demand also collapsed after the COVID-19-related boom in sales early in the pandemic, Kitagawa said.

[Related: PC Shipments Plummet 15 Percent In Q3 As Demand Cools: IDC]

“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,” she said.

The enterprise PC market is also being hit by economic factors, Kitagawa said.

“PC demand among enterprises began declining in the third quarter of 2022, but the market has now shifted from softness to deterioration,” she said. “Enterprise buyers are extending PC life cycles and delaying purchases, meaning the business market will likely not return to growth until 2024.”

IDC this week, in its latest Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, estimated that 67.2 million PCs were shipped in fourth-quarter 2022, which was down 28.1 percent compared with the 93.5 million PCs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2021. According to IDC, it was the fewest number of PCs shipped for the fourth quarter since 2018, which at the time was caused by Intel CPU supply issues that lasted into 2019.

The massive drop in fourth-quarter PC shipments dragged down total shipments for the entire year, which IDC said reached 292.3 million units, down 16.5 percent compared with 2021.

New PC demand is lacking as most users already have relatively new PCs after the COVID-19 pandemic spending boom and as the global economy worsens, said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC‘s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, in a statement.

“Average selling prices [ASPs] across many channels also fell as excess channel inventory over the course of the past few months triggered discounting in an effort to spur demand,” Ubrani said. “Despite these efforts, inventory management of finished PCs as well as components will remain a key issue in the coming quarters and has the potential to further affect ASPs.”

The IDC numbers reflect what the research firm called “traditional PCs,” which include desktops, notebooks and workstations but not tablets or x86 servers. Gartner, meanwhile, counts as PCs desktops and laptops that are equipped with Windows, macOS or Chrome OS.

According to IDC and Gartner, the fall in PC shipments impacted nearly every vendor. Here is more information about how each vendor fared.

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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