PC sales fell sharply in 2022, and not even Apple is safe

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The global PC market saw a marked decline amid economic concerns on a global scale in 2022, new analyst figures have declared.

The latest numbers from Canalys claim global total desktop and notebook sales were down year-on-year to 285.1 million, representing a 16% drop compared with 2021. 

However, 2021 figures were among the highest in nearly a decade, following a trend that saw it and the year before experience significant growth in the market. 

2022 PC sales vs before

Looking more broadly, 2022 figures were up on pre-pandemic 2019 figures, representing a similarly steady growth to the years we saw leading up to 2019. 

This has led some to believe that the 2020 and 2021 figures are artificially inflated as a result of the sudden requirement for many to work from home or embrace hybrid working, meaning that companies were forced to invest in more mobile infrastructure. 

Global annual PC shipments 2011-2022

(Image credit: Canalys)

Leading the charts in the final quarter of 2022 was Lenovo, which shifted 15,470 laptops and desktops – down 28.9% compared with Q4 2021. In second and third place were HP and Dell, each witnessing a 29% and 37.2% decline respectively.

While overall fourth quarter PC shipments dropped by an average of 28.7% in 2022 compared with 2021, it’s clear that some companies were better off than others, with Dell ending up on the poorer end of the scale. 

While Apple reported a less significant decline, it was still 7.5% down year-on-year, resulting in a Q4 2022 total of 7,229 shipments of its Mac lineup. As a whole, Apple PC shipments were down 6.2% throughout the whole year.

Looking forward, it’s hard to tell whether figures will return to lower pre-pandemic levels, or will suffer a less sudden decline. While there’s always the possibility that 2023 will see even more computers sold than in the year that preceded it, for now at least, a tricky outlook leaves the future looking pretty uncertain.

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