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Global PC shipments fall in Q4 2021 after six straight quarters of growth

Global PC shipments fall in Q4 2021 after six straight quarters of growth
Photo Credit: Pixabay
13 Jan, 2022

Global PC shipments totalled 88.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2021, registering its first drop after six straight quarters of growth. According to preliminary fourth quarter results published by market research firm Gartner, the total number of PCs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 5% less than the number of PCs shipped during the same quarter in 2020. However, 339.8 million PCs were shipped in 2021, which is a 9.9% increase from 2020, the report said.

According to Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner, the decline was because of a “sharp decline” in the US PC market caused by a shortage of semiconductor chips affecting the electronics industry throughout the year, along with a “collapse” in demand for Google’s Chromebook PCs. “This likely signifies the end of the massive and unexpected growth in PC demand triggered by the pandemic,” Kitagawa said. 

PC shipments include desktop-based computers, notebooks, mobile devices like Microsoft’s Surface and Google’s Chromebooks. Apple’s iPad tablets aren’t included in this report.

Further, the top three vendors on the market remained unchanged as well. Chinese PC maker Lenovo took the top spot with 24.6 percent market share during the fourth quarter, while HP, Dell, Apple and Acer took the next four spots in the top five, respectively. HP and Dell had 21.1 percent and 19.5 percent market shares, while Apple and Acer had 7.7 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

That said, Gartner also noted that Lenovo’s shipments fell by 12% globally during the fourth quarter, which is also the first decline for the company since Q1 of 2020. HP also registered a 4% year-over-year decline, while Dell registered a fifth consecutive quarter of growth exceeded 17 million units for the first time in the company’s history.