Global PC shipments in 2021 increased 9.9% to 339.8 million units. However, PC shipments in the last quarter totalled at 88.4 million units, a 5% decrease from the year-ago period, says the report by Gartner, Inc. After six back-to-back quarters of growth, it is the first time that a slowdown has come.
In another report by International Data Corporation (IDC), total PC shipments in 2021 were 348.8 million units, up 14.8% from 2020 and the highest since 2012.
“2021 has truly been a return to form for the PC,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers. “Consumer need for PCs in emerging markets and global commercial demand remained strong during the quarter with supply being a gating factor.”
“A challenging logistical environment, coupled with ongoing supply-side shortages, meant that the PC market could have been even larger than it was in 2021,” according to Tom Mainelli, group vice president of IDC’s Device and Consumer Research.
How U.S Market Performed In 2021?
It would be second time in a row that the U.S. PC market registered a double-digit decline during the fourth quarter of 2021, says Gartner. Shipments lagged 24.2% compared to the preceding year. According to the report, the pandemic induced demand for educational institutions receded in 2021. Consequently, the supply for Chromebooks weakened.
Business PC sales in the United States remained strong overall as the pandemic-related restrictions were relaxed and offices reopened; however, supply chain issues hurt the PC sales in the fourth quarter.
“A sharp decline in the U.S. PC market, caused by ongoing supply chain issues and the collapse in demand for Chromebooks, drove this quarter’s slowdown,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “This likely signifies the end of the massive and unexpected growth in PC demand triggered by the pandemic.
PC Market In Rest-Of-World (ROW)
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) PC market saw a growth of 7.4% year-over-year, reaching 26 million units, the highest volume since 2016. The surge in demand was mainly on the back of a rebound in economic and social activities, as many businesses, schools, and universities returned to in-person operations.
Excluding Japan, the Asia Pacific market expanded by 11.5% year-over-year. Many private businesses ordered extra mobile PCs in advance just to be ready to face any market shortages, making the mobile PC industry in the region extremely robust.