The US PC market declined in the last quarter, due to supply issues related to the pandemic. This is the first time that the US PC market has declined since the pandemic started to cause many people to rush out and buy new PCs over the past 18 months. Overall, analyzes from Gartner and IDC both suggest that the global PC market grew in the third quarter, but at a slower pace than we saw during the pandemic.
Gartner says “consumer and education spending began to shift away from PCs to other priorities,” during the quarter, leading to lower PC demand. This is best illustrated by a 17% drop in Chromebook shipments, which Gartner included in its traditional PC shipments for the first time this quarter. IDC and Gartner report 84.1 million PC shipments in the third quarter, while IDC puts the number at 86.7 million.
IDC and Canalys both report supply issues related to the pandemic. “The PC industry continues to be hampered by supply and logistics issues and unfortunately these issues haven’t seen much improvement in recent months,” says Jitesh Ubrani, head of research for PCs. IDC mobile and consumer device trackers.
These supply issues appear to have affected laptops more than desktops, with Gartner and Canalys highlighting stronger growth in desktops. “These component shortages are expected to persist in the first half of 2022,” Gartner said, after Microsoft, Nvidia and TSMC all warned of continuing chip shortages in the industry until 2022.
The shortages and performance of the US PC market comes just as Microsoft launched Windows 11. The software giant has started shipping Windows 11-equipped Surface devices, alongside OEM laptops like Asus, Lenovo. and HP. Other PC makers like Acer, Dell and Samsung will also be launching new Windows 11 devices soon.
Shortages could make it harder to find a Windows 11 PC this holiday season, with supply chain issues affecting Wi-Fi modules, power management circuitry and more.
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