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Sales of PCs falling

Expected global recession and inflation lead to dramatic decline of PC sales

Worldwide sales of PCs late last year saw the largest quarterly decline since the mid 90s. The decrease was 28.5% compared the fourth quarter in 2021 and total sales last year was down 16.2%, according to market and research firm Gartner. Total shipment was 65.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2022 with full-year shipments reaching 286.2 million units.

“The anticipation of a global recession, increased inflation and higher interest rates have had a major impact on PC demand,” says 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, PC demand among enterprises began declining in the third quarter of 2022, but the market has now shifted from softness to deterioration.” 

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“Enterprise buyers are extending PC lifecycles and delaying purchases, meaning the business market will likely not return to growth until 2024.”

Gartner says that simultaneously, higher PC inventory levels started building in the first half of 2022 and have become a bottleneck for the PC market. 

“Low PC supply caused by high demand and supply chain disruptions through 2021 quickly turned into an excess of supply once demand quickly and significantly slowed.”

The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2022, with Lenovo maintaining the No. 1 spot in shipments followed by HP, Dell, Apple, ASUS and Acer.

“While Lenovo maintained 24% market share, the company experienced its steepest decline since Gartner started tracking the PC market (mid 90s). Lenovo’s shipments fell in all regions except in Japan, declining over 30% in EMEA and Latin America”, Gartner says.

“HP and Dell also experienced historically steep declines. HP was hit hardest in the EMEA market, where shipments decreased 44% year-over-year. For Dell, weak demand in the large business market impacted shipments in the second half of 2022.”

“The US PC market declined 20.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022, registering its sixth straight quarter of shipment decline. Echoing the trend of the global PC market, both consumer and business PC spending slowed due to economic conditions.”

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“HP took over the top spot in the US PC market based on shipments with 26.8% market share. Dell followed with 23.4% of the U.S. PC market share.”

“The EMEA PC market had a historical decline of 37.2% year over year, due to the intersection of political unrest, inflationary pressures, interest rate increases and a pending recession.”

“A decline of this magnitude only happens when market demand effectively comes to a halt,” said Kitagawa. “Business and consumer confidence across EMEA has collapsed, leading to a huge drop in PC demand. A massive increase in inventory has also severely limited sell-in opportunities as sellers focus on moving old stock.”

The Asia Pacific market excluding Japan declined 29.4% year-over-year, mainly due to the market in China.

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