TL;DR: Global shipments of traditional PCs are expected to dip nearly 13 percent in 2022 thanks to a combination of a weakening economy, inflation and coming down from the surge in buying over the last two years.
According to the latest forecast from International Data Corporation's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, PC shipments will decline 12.8 percent this year to 305.3 million units. Shipments of tablets, meanwhile, are forecast to fall 6.8 percent to 156.8 million.
Slowing consumer demand is expected to creep into 2023 as well, with the combined market for PCs and tablets to slide 2.6 percent over the course of next year before returning to growth in 2024.
Jitesh Ubrani, a research manager at IDC, said that although demand is slowing, the outlook for shipments still remains above pre-pandemic levels. Long-term demand will be fueled by a slow economic recovery, Ubrani added, combined with an enterprise hardware refresh as support for Windows 10 comes to an end.
Speaking of end-of-life status, Windows 8.1 is scheduled to reach the end of its extended support period on January 10, 2023. The ill-fated OS isn't expected to have much of an impact on PC sales as its market share currently sits at just 2.79 percent worldwide according to StatCounter.
For comparison, Windows 10 is installed on more than 70 percent of PCs worldwide. The operating system isn't scheduled to be retired until late 2025, so enterprises and consumers alike still have plenty of time to plan their upgrade paths.
IDC's research manager also believes hybrid work and further investments from the education sector will continue to drive long-term volume. Volumes aren't expected to hit pandemic peaks, but they will be stronger than they are now.
Those who keep tabs on PC shipments shouldn't be surprised by IDC's forecast. Shipments in the second quarter were down 15.3 percent year over year, from 84.2 million units in the second quarter of 2021 to just 71.3 million units during the same period this year.
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