PC sales fell nearly 20% in the third quarter of the year from a year ago, the biggest decline in decades and the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, according to preliminary research by two analyst firms.
The boom in PC sales created by the pandemic and the dramatic rise in hybrid and remote work is over and no longer adding to PC sales. Back-to-school PC shopping also “had disappointing results, despite heavy promotions and price cuts, with many consumers buying new PCs out of necessity over the past two years,” according to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. .
On the business side, geopolitical upheavals, such as the war in Ukraine, and economic uncertainty “led to more selective IT spending, and PCs were not on the priority list,” Kitagawa added.
Globally, PC sales fell 19.5% in the third quarter of 2022, the biggest decline since Gartner began tracking sales in the mid-1990s. Research firm IDC pegged the year-over-year decline at 15%, while Gartner maintained its view on issues impacting sales, according to the company’s Worldwide Tracker.
“At the peak of the pandemic, many consumers, schools and businesses looked for new PCs and that surge has largely been met,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
The US PC market fell 17.3% in the third quarter of 2022, the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines. Sluggish laptop sales dragged down the overall US market, while desktop sales saw modest growth, driven by tight demand from businesses and the public sector, according to Gartner.
“Inflation is the biggest concern in the US. market, but smaller businesses are showing relative optimism about macroeconomic conditions,” Kitagawa said. “While demand for laptops among large companies fell sharply in the third quarter of 2022, small and medium-sized businesses did not experience a significant decline.”
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions were particularly hard hit by sales declines, with third-quarter sales down 26.4% year-over-year to 17 million units, the biggest decline of any region, according to Gartner. It was the third negative quarter for the EMEA PC market after an initial boom during the pandemic.
Worldwide, PC shipments totaled 74.3 million, according to IDC. (Gartner pegged global PC sales at 67.9 million).
The top three global PC vendors were unchanged in the quarter, with Lenovo leading shipments with a 25.2% market share, according to Gartner. HP followed with 18.7%, and Dell was third with 17.7% of sales. Apple, Asus and Acer ranked with 8.5%, 8.2% and 6.6% of PC sales, according to Gartner.
For Apple, the picture seemed a little brighter. “Consumer demand has been muted, although promotional activity from Apple and other players has helped smooth the decline and reduce channel inventory for a couple of weeks,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager of mobile device trackers at IDC. . “Supply has also reacted by reducing demand – with Apple being the only exception, with supply increasing in the third quarter to make up for lost orders resulting from the lockdowns in China in the second quarter.”
Windows 11, which recently received its first annual update since its launch in October 2021, also had no discernible impact on new PC sales, according to research firms. In the past two years, the market was supply-constrained, so people bought computers regardless of the operating system, IDC said.
“Those buyers can now easily upgrade to 11 if they haven’t already,” Ubrani said.
Windows 11 adoption appeared to have stalled earlier this year. The operating system achieved 19.4% “overall usage” in March, up more than 10% from the start of December 2021, according to AdDuple. In August, Windows 11 adoption reached 23.1% of devices.
“Less than 3.5% of modern Windows PCs have been upgraded to Windows 11 in the past two months. Roughly the same number were added to the latest version of Windows 10,” AdDuplex said on its website.
In addition to shipment volumes, IDC said it is closely monitoring sales prices. Shortages in recent years have pushed product shipments to the lower end of the scale, according to Linn Huang, research vice president of IDC’s Devices and Displays practice.
“This, along with rising component and logistics costs, pushed up ASPs [average selling prices] rose for five consecutive quarters to $910 in 2Q22, the highest since 2004,” Huang said. “However, with slowing demand, ramping up promotions and cut orders, the increase in ASP reversed in 222. The other quarter of the decline in ASP shows that the market is retreating indicates”.
Lenovo gained market share compared to a year ago, although shipments fell year over year, Gartner noted. Although the company’s overall shipments were down in all regions except Canada, the EMEA desktop market saw growth, driven by the start of production at Lenovo’s first European manufacturing facilities. This facility was opened in Hungary in June.
HP had a difficult quarter with a significant decline in overall global shipments. While the desktop market saw growth in some regions, overall laptop shipments suffered a decline.
Dell narrowed its market share gap with HP, recording year-over-year growth in the desktop market in all regions except Asia Pacific. However, Dell’s laptop shipments fell elsewhere, except in Japan.
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