PC shipments plunged 29% in the fourth quarter of 2022, as per sales data by Canalys.
Shipments of personal computers across the globe are expected to recover and start rising late this year, according to a Reuters report that cited research firms IDC and Canalys. A new cycle of system upgrades is likely to further accelerate global PC growth next year, it added.
“Supply side activity shows many large vendors entered 2023 with a cautious outlook, but the consensus is that portions of the PC market could return to growth in late 2023 with the overall market following in 2024,” IDC analysts said.
“The commercial segment has several drivers towards growth, including the approaching end of support for Windows 10 and a building refresh cycle, while the consumer market remains a wildcard for 2023 and beyond,” they added.
Demand for laptops and desktop computers saw a massive surge during the pandemic as lockdowns across most world economies gave rise to work-from-home and online education culture. However, as most Covid-restrictions eased and economies reopened, the PC demand took a downturn. A further blow to the PC market came as consumers stayed cautious and curbed their spending amid soaring inflation, higher interest rates, and an expected recession this year.
PC shipments plunged 29% in the fourth quarter of 2022, as per sales data by Canalys. A 28.5% decline in PC sales in October-December of 2022 was reported by Gartner, and IDC noted a 28.1% decline. Yearly figures from the three firms also showed a sales decline of around 16% in 2022 from the previous year. Among the top PC makers, Dell emerged as one of the biggest losers, and all three firms reported around 37% decline in Dell’s year-on-year shipments in the fourth quarter.
Some analysts also pointed out that the demand surge during Covid-led-lockdown was an exceptional event and would solely not give a correct picture of sales growth. When compared with numbers prior to the pandemic, the outlook is somewhat positive.
“Despite the short-term difficulty, the long-term outlook for PCs remains positive,” said Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys. “Once businesses and consumers ride out the storm, we expect delayed purchases to begin boosting the market in late 2023, with momentum picking up in 2024.”
Dutt added further that the recovery will be bolstered by an education demand bump in major markets as devices deployed during the pandemic peak reach the end of their life cycle. He added that gaming, connected PCs, and hybrid work are some areas that can bode well for the overall PC market and could deliver success even during the downturn.