Global PC shipments were down 7.3% in the first quarter of 2022, with Chromebooks accounting for most of the decline. When Chromebooks are removed, the PC retail market grew by 3.3%.
According to a report by the research firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 77.5 million, down 7.3% compared to the first quarter of 2021. Gartner cites pandemic-related supply chain issues, changes in work behavior and slowing consumer demand. consumer as reasons for the decline. The latter was particularly evident in Eastern Europe, where the Russian invasion of Ukraine caused demand in the region to collapse.
The drop in Chromebook sales was attributed to slowing educational demand in the US, where Chromebooks are widely used by teachers and students.
While the Gartner report doesn’t specifically mention gaming, if we remove the impact of the Chromebook sales drop, it appears that gaming-related sales remain strong. While prices for GPUs have dropped, their prices remain high, indicating continued demand for gaming PC purchases.
The report shows that Lenovo remains the top-selling PC vendor by shipment, followed by HP, Dell, Apple and Asus. If you’re surprised Apple ranked fourth, it actually saw its sales increase 8.6% year-over-year, spurred on by the strengths of its M1 processors. In contrast, Lenovo and HP saw declines of 12.6% and 17.8%, respectively. Asus saw a whopping 20.6% year-over-year growth.
Looking at regional results, the US saw the biggest drop as a result of weak Chromebook sales, down 16.5% year-over-year. The EMEA market was down 6.3% year on year, largely due to the effects of the war. In Asia ex-Japan, the PC market grew 4.1% year-on-year, mainly driven by growth in mobile PC sales.
In summary, the PC market was expected to decline following the explosion in demand from 2020 to 2021, which included the big shift to working from home, lockdowns, licenses, and reduced travel, which meant more time for home entertainment (including gaming). ). Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner, said, “It was a challenging quarter for the PC and Chromebook market to achieve growth, as last year the PC market saw its strongest growth in decades.”
It’s really surprising to see the robustness of the market in light of ongoing supply chain problems, rising fuel and logistics costs, and inflationary concerns. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes, as concerns about rising interest rates, ongoing inflation and wage growth issues are sure to take a toll on consumer spending. There is also the war in Ukraine. It will continue to spread geopolitically and consumer sentiment in Europe in particular will definitely have an impact on the world PC market.