This has been a hack of a journey for the PC industry in the last two years. The industry saw record-breaking quarter-on-quarter sales as everyone was stuck at home during the epidemic. One person who writes an article about it can’t even count how many times I’ve written about it. However, as we relax in 2022, the tide may begin to turn. According to IDC’s industry analysts, Q1 2022 sales were still quite good, but they fell 5.1 percent from January to March. The sharp reversal of a trend of double-digit growth in this sector every quarter for the last two years.
The downturn comes through IDC’s quarterly report on the PC industry. The company’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker said that while shipments have declined, “this does not mean that the industry is in a downward spiral.” For example, sellers still shipped 80.5 million PCs in the first quarter. It surpassed 80 million in the seventh quarter in a row. The last time this happened was in 2012. It was mounted on an LGA1155 socket with DDR3 memory. The GPU de jour was an AMD HD 7970 “Tahiti” card built in 28nm process. If you were really bald you would get two of them for crossfire. Another classic upgrade is using an OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD for your boot drive. But we turned away … (Before spreading any more rumors about the joy of owning an OCZ product – Ed)
The report highlights the fact that the industry has removed a ton of PCs despite the supply chain still being in turmoil. “Even though some parts of the market have slowed down due to demand saturation and rising costs, we still see some silver lining in a market that has reached a starting point towards a slowdown in growth,” said Jay Chow, research manager at IDC’s quarterly PC Monitor. Chow noted that despite the chip shortage and supply chain situation, “high consumer demand has also stalled.” Overall, the report says, notebooks have declined year after year while desktop sales have increased somewhat.
Top PC vendors have remained unchanged since the last quarter of 2021. Lenovo is still the leader with 22.7 percent market share. HP is quietly on its heels with 19.7 percent market share. These are followed by Dell and Apple, Asus and Acer in fifth place overall. It is interesting to note that only Dell, Apple and Asus Q1 have increased year after year compared to 2021.
Despite some surprising changes in PC sales, IDC’s year-end analysis of 2021 predicts with alarming accuracy. We describe it at that time with the following caption: “IDC predicts that the PC market will slow down considerably in 2022.” This slowdown is coming as the GPU continues to decline, so maybe we’re just starting to see it with our own eyes. GPUs are usually in-stock, which is also a recent development.