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PC Demand Set to Slump After Pandemic Boost

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

Thanks to hundreds of millions of people working, teaching or studying from home in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global PC industry enjoyed a renaissance in the past two years. After years of decline or stagnation at best, the industry bounced back with double-digit shipment growth in 2020 and 2021. With more than 340 million PCs shipped last year, it was the best since 2012, when the industry's decline began.

Now that people have equipped their workplaces at home and/or are returning the office, demand is fading again, with inflation and geopolitical uncertainties not helping the situation. According to new estimates from Gartner, global PC shipments will drop 9 percent this year, while remaining above pre-pandemic levels.

“A perfect storm of geopolitics upheaval, high inflation, currency fluctuations and supply chain disruptions have lowered business and consumer demand for devices across the world and is set to impact the PC market the hardest in 2022,” Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner, said in a statement, adding that consumer demand is expected to plummet faster than business demand.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there had already been a positive trend in PC shipments, as the end of support for Windows 7 had sparked a replacement cycle, ending seven years of negative growth in 2019. However, without the pandemic, that trend would likely have faded in 2020.

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