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STAMFORD, Conn., January 12, 2022

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 5% in Fourth Quarter of 2021 but Grew Nearly 10% for the Year

Market to Remain Healthy Even as Slowing U.S. PC Market Signals the End of Pandemic-Driven Growth

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 (%)

Lenovo

21,701

24.6

24,623

26.5

-11.9

HP Inc.

18,645

21.1

19,455

20.9

-4.2

Dell

17,196

19.5

15,944

17.1

7.9

Apple

6,846

7.7

6,447

6.9

6.2

Acer Group

6,189

7.0

6,798

7.3

-9.0

ASUS

6,102

6.9

5,359

5.8

13.9

Others

11,714

13.3

14,450

15.5

-18.9

Total

88,392

100.0

93,076

100.0

-5.0

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.

Regional Overview

The U.S. PC market saw its second consecutive quarter of double-digit decline during the fourth quarter of 2021, with shipments declining 24.2% year-over-year. This decrease was largely driven by weak Chromebook shipments as demand from educational institutions continued to slow. While U.S. business PC sales were generally strong due to the recovering economy and the reopening of offices, supply chain delays impacted shipment volumes, especially in the large enterprise market. The holiday season also saw weaker PC sales than in 2020 due to modest consumer demand.

Dell secured the top spot in the U.S. PC market based on shipments with 28.5% market share. HP followed with 25.9% of the U.S. PC market share (see Table 2).

Table 2. Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q21 (Thousands of Units)

Company

4Q21 Shipments

4Q21 Market Share (%)

4Q20 Shipments

4Q20 Market Share (%)

4Q21-4Q20 Growth (%)

Dell

5,892

28.5

6,769

24.8

-13.0

HP Inc.

5,357

25.9

8,221

30.2

-34.8

Lenovo

3,097

15.0

4,820

17.7

-35.8

Apple

2,689

13.0

2,520

9.2

6.7

Acer Group

1,125

5.4

1,874

6.9

-40.0

ASUS

906

4.4

961

3.5

-5.8

Others

1,584

7.7

2,084

7.6

-24.0

Total

20,649

100.0

27,249

100.0

-24.2

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)

The EMEA PC market grew 7.4% year-over-year, reaching 26 million units, the highest volume in five years. This growth was led by business PC demand associated with increasing economic and social recovery, as many businesses, schools and universities began to return to in-person operations.

Excluding Japan, the Asia Pacific market grew by 11.5% year-over-year. The mobile PC market was particularly strong in the region, as many private enterprises pre-ordered extra mobile PCs in anticipation of potential market shortages.

Annual Overview: Pandemic Drove PC Market Revival

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 339.8 million units in 2021, a 9.9% increase from 2020 (see Table 3).

Table 3. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2021 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2021 Shipments

2021 Market Share (%)

2020 Shipments

2020 Market Share (%)

2021-2020 Growth (%)

Lenovo

84,017

24.7

76,113

24.6

10.4

HP Inc.

74,180

21.8

68,181

22.1

8.8

Dell

59,681

17.6

50,736

16.4

17.6

Apple

25,983

7.6

22,008

7.1

18.1

Acer Group

24,335

7.2

22,460

7.3

8.3

ASUS

21,656

6.4

17,849

5.8

21.3

Others

49,917

14.7

51,731

16.7

-3.5

Total

339,769

100.0

309,079

100.0

9.9

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)

After a long period of decline and occasional modest growth, the pandemic revived the PC industry, as evidenced by 2021’s continued strong growth. Gartner expects PC demand to slow for at least the next two years, but annual shipment volumes are not expected to decline to pre-pandemic levels in that period.

“The pandemic significantly changed business and consumer PC user behavior, as people had to adopt to new ways of working and living,” said Kitagawa. “Post-pandemic, some of the newly established ways of using PCs will remain regular practice, such as remote or hybrid workstyles, taking online courses and communicating with friends and family online.”

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.

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