PC market crash: Sales plummet and 2023 looks gloomy

PC market crash: Sales plummet and 2023 looks gloomy

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Despite the traditionally good Christmas sales, the PC market is in freefall with up to -37% in sales for the American Dell. Apple is marginally affected and analysts expect an improvement by the end of 2023… or even 2024.

It is an understatement to say that PC sales in the last quarter of 2022 were catastrophic: according to three large analyst firms, including IDC, Gartner and Canalys, the drop is around 29%. A drop which is a double blow for the IT market. Not only does it fall within several bearish quarters, but it also hits the quarter when, due to the holiday season, sales are traditionally much stronger. If this drop is explained and the market should start to rise again as we will see, this fourth quarter of 2022 will however remain in the annals. The Gartner firm thus noting that this is the largest quarterly drop since… the mid-1990s!

Dell the big loser (with Acer)

This data includes desktop PCs and laptops, whether equipped with Windows, macOS or Chrome OS. Source: Gartner, adaptation 01net.com (January 2023)

With a drop of almost 37.2% exactly, the American Dell is the big loser in end-of-year sales in the world’s top 5. When it sold around 16-17 million PCs in the fourth quarter of 2021, only 10-11 million machines were sold at the end of 2022. The world’s number one and two, Lenovo and HP, are not doing much better, with – 28.5% and -29%. Even Apple, which was the only player on the rise in the third quarter of 2022, fell 10%.

Read also: Visit with us the Intel factory that (maybe) produced your computer processor (Dec. 2024)

If Canalys and IDC only separate the first 5 of the ranking by grouping the rest of the players in the “other” category, Gartner details its figures up to 6e actor, the Taiwanese Acer. Who is the unfortunate downside champion with a 41.2% drop. Increasing its global market share to only 5.5%.

A drop that brings us back to 2018… and to normal in terms of volumes

If the trend was slightly bullish in 2019, it was the pandemic and its collateral effects that caused sales volumes to explode in 2020 and 2021. The market is therefore only readjusting.

With 292.3 million machines sold, 2022 is a bad year for PC sales. But as violent as it is, it should not make us forget that PC sales were exceptional during and after the pandemic. These almost 300 million machines bring us back to 2018. The explanation is thus less a collapse (or a loss of love) of PCs, than a return to a normal volume of sales. With the pandemic being a gear rush anomaly, the PC market must now return to a normal race for gear. Equipment that is renewed (and that’s a good thing!) less often due to the maturity of technologies. Added to this are economic uncertainties both from the point of view of companies (the tech giants who lay off) and geopolitics (invasion of Ukraine, tensions in Asia). The good news for PC builders is that 2024 could relaunch the machine.

New products that will boost the market between 2023 and 2024

In 2023, new generations of chips could attract new customers. The new graphics processors (GPUs) from Nvidia and AMD that were announced late last year – including their mid-range versions. The Cores of 13e generation from Intel and other Ryzen from AMD could gently stimulate the market, even if analysts think that 2023 will be gloomy, and that it will be necessary to wait until the year after to benefit from an upturn.

Read also: Windows 12: Microsoft accidentally reveals a new interface… inspired by macOS? (Oct 2022)

Because the fatal weapon of the cyclical renewal of the PC market is to be sought from Microsoft. A software publisher whose new version of the operating system, Windows 12, is anticipated for the current of the year 2024. As with each new generation of the system, Microsoft and its partners should press hard on communication and marketing. And this is the privileged moment for many companies, ministries and governments to initiate a renewal of equipment.

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