PC market in decline as Chromebook sales slip from pandemic peak

Global PC shipments declined in the first quarter of 2022 as pandemic-related purchases begin to decline, according to reports from research firms Gartner and International Data Corporation (IDC). While IDC reports a total of 80.5 million PC shipments last quarter, Gartner cites a lower figure of 77.5 million, down 7.7% from the first quarter of 2021.

Gartner says a drop in Chromebook shipments weighed heavily on the market — excluding Chromebooks, the PC market would have grown 3.3% year over year. IDC didn’t include any information on Chromebooks, but noted a slowdown in purchases from educational institutions, a market that uses more than 40 million Chromebooks for teachers and students. Lenovo was still the top-selling PC brand, followed by HP, Dell, and Apple.

However, Dell, Apple and ASUS are the only brands that have seen year-over-year growth. Apple should have seen a bump after releasing new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros last October, which come with the company’s internal M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Its new Mac Studio desktop system hit the market in March, bolstering Apple’s desktop lineup at the end of the last quarter and beyond.

Demand for Chromebooks was particularly high amid the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, as schools purchased Chromebooks to ease the transition to remote learning. The PC market, in general, grew by 11% in 2020 and over 30 million Chromebooks were sold at the time. A supply chain shortage caused sales to plummet in the third quarter of 2021, but managed to recover in the last quarter.

Both companies agree that the PC market, in general, is beginning to stabilize after two years of strong shipment increases. Gartner also cites the war in Ukraine as a contributing factor to the lack of growth last quarter, as many companies stopped shipping hardware to the country due to economic sanctions.

“The focus shouldn’t be on the year-over-year decline in PC volumes, because that’s to be expected,” Ryan Reith, group vice president at IDC, said in a statement. . “The focus should be on the PC industry’s ability to ship more than 80 million PCs at a time when logistics and supply chain are still messy, accompanied by numerous geopolitical and climate-related challenges. pandemic.”

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