Global PC sector suffers worst downturn as China chip restrictions loom


The global PC market experienced its steepest drop on record as economic uncertainty and a glut of unsold inventory hit shipments for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Global shipments of desktop and laptop computers fell 19.5% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier, 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 released similar figures showing double-digit declines.

The dismal PC numbers coincide with a period of turmoil for the global tech industry, which is now scrutinizing a slew of restrictions that Washington placed on chip and technology exports to China last week. Leading chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. suffered its biggest drop on Tuesday as the market reacted to expanded sanctions.

PC vendors and major vendors such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. had 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 subsides. . Although shipping volume remains comparable to pre-pandemic levels and strong hiring numbers suggest positive business demand, economic headwinds are likely to affect IT spending for both business and personal use over the next year. according to Canalys.

“The rapid deterioration in demand across all segments is a worrying signal not only to suppliers, but also to stakeholders across the supply chain,” said Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys. “Intel and AMD are facing headwinds from weakness in their PC businesses, and smaller makers of components, from integrated circuits to memory, are cutting production and lowering profit forecasts.”

The market is likely to recover by the second half of 2023, Dutt added.

Lenovo Group Ltd. remained the world’s top PC maker in the third quarter, although its shipments fell about 15%, according to Gartner. Among the top five vendors, HP Inc. experienced the largest decline in the third quarter with a 28% drop.


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