At the end of 2022, PC sales collapsed like never before

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A glorious period for PC makers and vendors, the pandemic now seems a long way off: IDC and Gartner agree to expect a truly chaotic fourth quarter of 2022 for desktop and laptop sales. However, 2024 could be more favorable.

The Acer Swift 5 2022, by way of illustration // Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

The worst drop in sales ever observed since Gartner calculated and recorded this type of data, as reported by the specialized site PC World. Strongly agree, analytics firms Gartner and IDC report extremely disappointing sales numbers for the PC market (including Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS models, fixed or portable) for Q4 2022.

Gartner thus evokes a drop in sales of 28.5% (to 65.3 million units sold): the most significant drop measured since the mid-1990s, a period during which Gartner explains that it began its measurements. On the IDC side, same observation, with the mention of a position of 28.1% of sales (for 67.2 million units distributed).

These data, similar from company to company, suggest a struggling PC market just two years after the increased conditions it had benefited from during the Covid-19 pandemic. The massive purchases of computers by people forced to work from home had then (artificially) boosted sales between 2020 and 2021. A sumptuous era for the PC market, which now seems far away, since the inversion of the curves is so blatant.

Consumers very reluctant to spend their money on a new PC…

« The anticipation of a global recession, rising inflation, and rising interest rates have had a major impact on PC demand. commented Mikako Kitagawa, chief analyst at IDC.

« With many consumers already owning relatively new PCs purchased during the pandemic, the lack of affordability outweighs any motivation to buy, causing consumer demand for PCs to drop to its lowest level in decades. “, he continues. ” Although vendors offered deep discounts on PCs during the holiday season to reduce inventory, consumers were reluctant to spend their money. »

A logical and unstoppable observation, which does not prevent a more positive note with respect to the year 2022 in its entirety.

Source: IDC and Gartner via PC World

Therefore, IDC estimates that for all of last year, PC shipments were higher than could be seen on an annual basis before the pandemic. In all of 2022, 292.3 million PCs have been distributed according to analysts from the US firm. The latter also believe that the PC market has enough potential to rectify the situation in 2024. IDC finally underlines that the figures obtained for the last quarter of 2022 have the disadvantage of being compared to the same period of 2021… an exceptional year for the PC market.

« 2021 has been near all-time highs for PC shipments, so any comparison will be skewed. There is no question when we look back that the rise and fall of the market will be written in the record books, but there are still plenty of opportunities. We are convinced that the market has the potential to recover in 2024 and we also see opportunity factors for the rest of 2023 “, illuminated.

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