(Bloomberg) — The global PC market saw its steepest decline on record as economic uncertainty and a glut of unsold inventories hurt shipments for the fourth quarter in a row.
Worldwide shipments of desktop and laptop computers fell 19.5% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the year-ago period, according to research firm Gartner. It was the biggest drop Gartner has documented in more than two decades of tracking the market, echoing data compiled by Canalys, which published similar figures showing double-digit declines.
The dismal computer numbers coincide with a period of turmoil for the global technology industry, which is now analyzing a raft of restrictions Washington imposed on chip and technology exports to China last week. Leading chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. had its biggest drop ever on Tuesday as the market reacted to the expanded sanctions.
Computer vendors and major suppliers such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has already warned of a market slowdown this year, emphasizing the need for new growth to replace demand for remote work and online learning as the pandemic intensifies. Although shipping volume remains comparable to pre-pandemic levels and robust employment numbers suggest positive business demand, economic headwinds are likely to affect IT spending for business and personal use in the coming year, according to Canalys.
“The rapid deterioration in demand across all segments is a worrying sign not only for vendors, but for stakeholders across the supply chain,” said Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys. “Intel and AMD face headwinds from weakness in their PC businesses, and smaller makers of components from ICs to memory are cutting production and slashing revenue forecasts.”
The market is likely to recover by the second half of 2023, Dutt added.
Lenovo Group Ltd. remained the top global PC maker in the third quarter, although its shipments fell about 15%, according to Gartner. Among the top five sellers, HP Inc. saw the biggest decline in the third quarter with a 28% drop.
(Updates with TSMC stock decline)
©2022 Bloomberg LP