PC shipments up

PC Sales Remain Above Pre-Pandemic Levels Despite Recent Declines

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Market research outfit IDC has published (opens in new tab) its latest data, giving us a measure of the performance of the PC market as we enter the last months of 2022. The significant findings for Q3 2022 are that pre-built PC shipment volumes have remained above pre-pandemic levels. Nevertheless, there is terrible news for the industry overall, as it suffered a 15% contraction year-on-year. As with all these shifts in sales numbers, some PC makers fare better than others. We note that only Apple sold more PCs in Q3 2022 than in Q3 2021, boosting its market share percentage into double figures. On the flip side, it looks like HP was the poorest performer.

In Q3 2022, IDC measured global PC shipments of 74.3 million units. A year ago, in the same quarter, shipments tallied 87.3 million units; thus, there has been a 15% YoY decline overall. It sounds like bad news, but PCs sold in far fewer numbers pre-pandemic, notes IDC. If we go back to Q3 2017 and Q3 2018, for example, PC shipments were flatlining (opens in new tab) at just above 67 million units. Thus it looks like what inspired consumers to invest in PCs still has some strength post-pandemic.

The raw shipment numbers don’t tell us everything, of course. There has been a notable increase in average selling prices (ASPs) of PC desktops and laptops since the pandemic started. PC makers took advantage of the increased demand and shortages to push a high of $922 per machine in Q1 this year. Recently ASPs have retreated with the onset of the war in Ukraine and recessionary/inflationary pressures reducing household disposable income.

(Image credit: IDC)

Lenovo is still the PC industry champ, with a 22.7% market share in Q3 2022. It has slipped a little in market share, but more seriously in shipment quantities – with 16% fewer PCs shipped compared to a year ago. Second-placed HP is the worst off, though, losing both market share and sliding almost 30% in shipment volumes. As mentioned in the intro, Apple showed impressive strength in these latest figures. Its market share grew from 8.2% to 13.5% YoY, and its shipments were up by 40%. People are pretty interested / excited by Apple’s recent Apple Silicon transition, which is probably driving both platform upgrades and switchers.

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