After two years of growth in the PC market owing to working from home and studying from home due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the segment is once again feeling the pinch. Even though 105.6 million units of PCs, laptops and tablets were shipped in Q3 2022, a 1 per cent increase from the previous quarter, there was a drop of 14 per cent over the same quarter last year, according to Canalys. This demand across all product categories and end-user segments was stifled by worsening macroeconomic conditions, as consumers and businesses alike adopted a more cautious approach to spending on devices.
In the total PC market (desktops, notebooks and tablets), Apple topped the table with a 22 per cent market share with 23.4 million units shipped worldwide and becoming the only major vendor to post year-on-year growth in Q3. With 19.4 million units shipped and an 18 per cent market share, Lenovo came in second, posting a 21 per cent year-on-year decline. HP finished third, with a 28 per cent drop in shipments to 12.7 million units and a two-percentage-point market share loss compared with Q3 2021. Fourth-placed Dell shipped 12 million units, undergoing a 21 per cent decline, while fifth-placed Samsung posted shipments of 7.3 million units and a more modest decline of 13 per cent.
Tablets: Of the overall market, tablet shipments fell 6 per cent in Q3 to 35.3 million units.
Even though Apple continued to dominate the tablet market, iPad shipments fell 12 per cent year on year to 13.4 million units. Samsung, at the second spot, posted shipments of 6.6 million units in Q3, a decline of 8 per cent. Amazon secured third place, managing to grow shipments by 18 per cent to 3.2 million units, fuelled by heavy discounting of its Fire tablets for Prime Day. Lenovo and Huawei took fourth and fifth place, with both Android vendors undergoing significant declines of 37 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.
“The reduced need for tablets in the post-pandemic world has been exacerbated by increased macroeconomic pressure on consumer spending. With in-person education largely resumed and people spending less time indoors and on devices, expenditure on refreshing or upgrading tablets is plummeting as household budgets are pared back. But promotional activity by vendors and retailers, including back-to-school deals, along with rising deployments in the commercial sector, have helped keep shipment volumes at a higher level than before the pandemic. While the tablet market is unlikely to reach the highs it enjoyed in 2020 and 2021 again, the trajectory is more positive than was anticipated a few years ago, and vendors are signalling continued focus on the category,” says Canalys Analyst Himani Mukka.
Chromebooks: Along with the tablets, Chromebook shipments were down 29 per cent at 4.2 million units.
Acer led the Chromebook market in Q3 with more than a million units shipped, posting 11 per cent growth and capturing over a quarter of overall shipments. HP secured second place in the Chromebook rankings after suffering heavier declines than other vendors in recent quarters. It saw shipments fall 27 per cent to 800,000 units in the latest quarter. Lenovo experienced the steepest decline of all the major vendors, with a 50 per cent drop as it struggled with high inventory levels and shifts its education portfolio to include more Windows devices. Dell, which had less focus on the Chromebook market throughout the pandemic, experienced a modest decline in shipments of 11 per cent. Asus took fifth place in the market with a 9.6 per cent market share.
“Q3 brought further pressure to the Chromebook market as education demand saturation continued to take its toll. Since the education market first showed signs of saturation in Q3 2021, vendors have struggled to find growth opportunities in other segments while managing high inventory levels. A fall in Chromebook demand was expected in the second half of 2021 but the extent of the decline has been worsened by economic headwinds, limiting education budgets and stemming any momentum among consumers and businesses. The current situation of high inventory levels and low demand has dented enthusiasm for Chromebooks for some vendors. Windows-based education PCs have attracted more interest as they will offer alternative sales opportunities in future instances of erratic education demand. Still, global education demand strongly favours Chromebooks as they account for the bulk of the installed base and are preferred by IT administrators across the US education system. Upcoming spikes in education demand will continue to benefit Chromebooks more than competing devices,” says Canalys Research Analyst Brian Lynch.
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