“The commercial segment has several drivers towards growth, including the approaching end of support for Windows 10 and a building refresh cycle…”
Global shipments for traditional PCs fell below expectations in the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q22) as 67.2 million PCs were shipped, down 28.1% from the prior year, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The 4Q22 shipments are comparable to the fourth quarter of 2018, when the market was constrained by Intel's supply challenges. It is clear the pandemic boom is over for the PC market, but despite recent declines, annual shipments for 2022 were well above pre-pandemic levels at 292.3 million units for the full year. However, demand remains a concern as most users have relatively new PCs and the global economy worsens.
"Average selling prices (ASPs) across many channels also fell as excess channel inventory over the course of the past few months triggered discounting in an effort to spur demand," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "Despite these efforts, inventory management of finished PCs as well as components will remain a key issue in the coming quarters and has the potential to further affect ASPs."
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. 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.
"Consecutive quarters of declines clearly paint a gloomy picture of the PC market, but this is really all about perception," said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "2021 was near historic levels for PC shipments, so any comparison is going to be distorted. There’s no question when we look back at this time that the rise and fall of the PC market will be one for the record books, but plenty of opportunity still lies ahead. We firmly believe the market has the potential to recover in 2024 and we also see pockets of opportunity throughout the remainder of 2023."