Global PC Shipments See Record Decline in 4Q22

Global PC shipments left the fourth quarter of 2022 with a record-high YoY decline of 27.8% to reach 65.2 million units, according to Counterpoint Research. Although inventory levels of several OEMs and ODMs likely peaked in 3Q22, the year-end season failed to accelerate the PC shipment momentum in Q4. At 286 million units, the total PC shipments for 2022 also reflect a muted global PC demand with four consecutive quarters of shipment declines. Therefore, Counterpoint Research does not expect a decent rebound in the first half of this year.

Macroeconomic headwinds, increasing inflation pressure and frozen PC demand affected the global PC market in 2022, with shipments declining by 15%. Besides, consumers who bought new PCs were still enjoying the latest models, whereas enterprises were working more carefully on their budgets. Also, the lack of appealing functions and financial support could not bring in incremental demand in 2022, not to mention the aggressive inventory digestion target of OEMs since 1H22.

Lenovo continued to lead the market in the quarter but with a flattish 23.7% share. Its shipments declined 17% in 2022 to take a 23.7% market share. HP secured its second place in the final quarter of  2022 with a 20.3% share. Its shipments declined 29% during the quarter but it was the only major PC OEM to report positive sequential shipment growth in Q4. HP had the largest shipment pullback in 2022 due to weak consumer demand across the globe. The company ultimately recorded a below 20% market share in 2022.

Dell’s 16.7% market share was the lowest in the past seven quarters largely due to an enterprise demand slowdown. As the economic situation remains weak, the company is not expected to see rapid pick-up for commercial models in 2023, which is crucial for Dell to narrow the market share gap with HP. Apple’s comparatively tiny 3% shipment decline in 4Q22 helped the company close the book with a flattish shipment volume performance for 2022. Apple kept gaining market share at the expense of x86-based vendors and recorded a double-digit share in the second half of 2022 and 9.4% in the full year. Arm-based M-series models helped the company weather the slump cycle in both consumer and commercial devices in 2022.

Despite near-term headwinds, PC shipment volumes will be higher than pre-COVID levels in the coming years, thanks to the continuous work environment and lifestyle changes and delayed procurement from both consumer and commercial sectors after 1H23. Consumer demand will likely see a gradual rebound in 2H23 followed by a slower warm-up in enterprise procurement. Soft demand in the first half will cause heavy pressure on global PC shipments. Therefore, annual shipment growth in 2023 can’t be expected.

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