PC market collapses like never before

At the end of 2022, over 28 percent fewer desktop PCs and notebooks were sold than at the end of 2021. There has never been a slump like this.

Sales of desktop PCs and notebooks fell by more than 28 percent to well under 70 million units in the fourth quarter of 2022. The three market research teams from Canalys, Gartner, and IDC agree on this – the figures differ only slightly from one another.

Specifically, there is talk of a slump of between 28.1 and 28.7 percent to 65.3 million to 67.1 million PCs. Gartner calls this the strongest slump ever observed since tracking began in the mid-1990s. The reasons are obvious: economic recession accompanied by inflation and reduced demand because many stocked up on new PCs during the corona pandemic.

According to IDC, sales at the end of 2022 were comparable to the fourth quarter of 2018, when Intel was unable to meet the demand for notebook processors. Good news for anyone looking for a new PC: due to high stock levels, prices could fall further, according to the market research team.

Figures from IDC

Meanwhile, the biggest loser was Dell, with sales slumping by a good 37 percent to just over 10.8 million PCs. On the other hand, Apple had the lowest decline: IDC estimates it at just -2.1 percent; Canalys and Gartner to a more realistic -7.5 and -10.2 percent respectively. Apple is said to have sold 7-7.5 million MacBooks and Macs in the three months.

Nothing has changed in the ranking of the world’s five largest PC manufacturers. Lenovo is still in first place by a good margin, followed by HP, Dell, Apple, and Asus.

Meanwhile, 285-292 million PCs were sold in 2022 – a good 16 percent less than in 2021. In particular, the still quite strong first quarter of 2022 improved the annual figures. Canalys expects a further decline in 2023 until the market normalizes in 2024.

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