Global PC sales to drop 9.5% in 2022 because of multiple challenges

Rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical issues have upended the industry, Gartner said

Acer laptops can be seen at a Showroom in New Delhi, India, on 11 October 2018. (Photo by Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Sales of personal computer sales are expected to fall 9.5 per cent on an annual basis in 2022 as growing inflation, supply chain constraints and geopolitical challenges upended the industry, according to research company Gartner.

Total PC shipment is expected reach nearly 310 million this year, nearly 32 million fewer than the units sold last year, the Connecticut-based company said in its latest report.

The sector, however, grew 11 per cent on an annual basis in 2021 on increased consumer spending as the industry emerged from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

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A perfect storm of geopolitics upheaval, high inflation, currency fluctuations and supply chain disruptions have lowered business and consumer demand for devices across the world
Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner

“A perfect storm of geopolitics upheaval, high inflation, currency fluctuations and supply chain disruptions have lowered business and consumer demand for devices across the world, and is set to impact the PC market the hardest in 2022,” Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner, said.

Consumer PC demand is on pace to decline 13.1 per cent yearly in 12 months to December. It will decline much faster than business PC demand, which is expected to fall 7.2 per cent year-on-year in 2022, Mr Atwal said.

From a regional perspective, the Europe, Middle East and Africa PC market is expected to register a 14 per cent dip in 2022, driven by lack of consumer demand.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, price increases and unavailability of products because of lockdowns in China are affecting consumer demand in the region, Gartner said.

The PC market is expected to suffer the sharpest decline of all device segments (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) this year.

Mobile phone shipments (including smartphones and feature phones) are expected to drop 7.1 per cent to more than 1.4 billion devices this year. However, the industry grew almost 5 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, the tablet market is poised to nosedive almost 9 per cent annually to 142 million units this year, according to Gartner.

Gartner has also lowered its projection for 5G smartphone sales from its previous estimates. It expects worldwide 5G phone shipments to total 710 million units this year, an increase of 29 per cent from last year.

“The growth rate is significantly down from an expected increase of 47 per cent at the start of the year, with a resulting loss of 95 million 5G phone shipments,” Mr Atwal said.

“The impact of China’s zero tolerance Covid-19 policy and resulting lockdowns have dramatically reversed … [the] trend. Large numbers of consumers stopped buying non-essential items, including 5G smartphones.”

Updated: July 05, 2022, 5:30 AM
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