Worldwide PC shipments totaled 88.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 5% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2020, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This is the first year-over-year decline following six consecutive quarters of growth. For the year, PC shipments reached 339.8 million units in 2021, a 9.9% increase from 2020.
“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.
“However, the fourth quarter’s decline only slightly tempered the PC market’s growth in 2021, which saw the highest shipment volume since 2013. During the pandemic, shipment growth has been supported by an average selling price (ASP) hike, resulting in higher revenues and a healthier market overall. As a result, annual PC shipment volumes are not expected to decline to pre-pandemic levels for at least 2-3 years.”
The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2021, with Lenovo maintaining the No. 1 spot in shipments (see Table 1).
Table 1. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q21 (Thousands of Units)
|Company||4Q21 Shipments||4Q21 Market Share (%)||4Q20 Shipments||4Q20 Market Share (%)||4Q21-4Q20 Growth (%)|
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs, ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface) and Chromebooks, but not iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gartner (January 2022)
Lenovo’s worldwide PC shipments fell nearly 12% quartering the fourth quarter of 2021, the first period of year-over-year decline for the company since the first quarter of 2020. This decline was due to the slowed U.S. market, weak Chromebook demand and supply chain issues, which impeded Lenovo’s ability to supply PCs to enterprise customers. These factors also contributed to HP’s 4% year-over-year decline; however, HP’s decline was tempered by robust growth in the Asia Pacific market.
Dell gained market share this period after notching a fifth consecutive quarter of growth. Shipment volume exceeded 17 million units for the first time in the company’s history, led by strong performance in Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.