The PC sales boom is over

    Shoppers are deciding to buy a Microsoft laptop at Best Buy in Tampa, Florida, November 2021.

    Octavio Jones | beautiful pictures

    Global PC shipments fell sharply in the first quarter of 2022, according to new industry estimates, suggesting that the pandemic of PC sales is over.

    Gartner said Monday that it estimates PC shipments to drop 7.3% year-on-year to 77.5 million units, driven primarily by a sharp drop in Chromebook shipments. Chromebooks are popular cheap laptops in schools that run Google’s operating system.

    The drop in shipments in the first quarter was a stark contrast to the dizzying sales growth the industry posted in 2021.

    PC sales posted their fastest growth in 20 years in the first quarter of 2021 as consumers and businesses bought new laptops and desktops for remote work and study. In 2021, PC sales are up about 15%, back to 2012 levels after nearly a decade of slow or no growth.

    Other reports released on Monday also showed a decline. IDC estimates a 5.1% drop to approximately 80.5 million units shipped. Canalys saw shipments fall 3% in the first three months of 2022, although it estimates that overall PC sales are still up. Gartner says the PC market grew 3.3% year-over-year, excluding Chromebooks.

    The industry faces challenges related to the supply of parts needed for laptops and desktops stemming from global chip shortages during the boom in machine sales. Personal. PC vendors also stopped shipping new computers into Russia during the invasion of Ukraine.

    Companies that make PCs or critical parts like microprocessors had hoped that the pandemic would create a new higher sales baseline for the industry, but some analysts warn that there are signs Growth may slow significantly, as so many people buy new computers.

    Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, Asus and Acer were the six largest personal computer companies by units shipped in the first quarter, according to Gartner.

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