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PC Shipments Decline 28% in Fourth Quarter of 2022

The pandemic buying boom is over, market researcher IDC says.

Dell Inspiron laptop on a purple background
Josh Goldman/CNET

PC shipments fell below analysts' expectations in the fourth quarter of 2022, with PC makers shipping 67.2 million computers, a drop of 28.1% compared with the same quarter a year earlier, according to preliminary results that market researcher IDC released Tuesday.

The decline in the fourth quarter followed a 15% drop in the third quarter. For the full year, shipments were down 15.6%.

IDC said it was clear that the PC market's pandemic buying boom is over, but it noted that despite recent declines, PC shipments for the entire year were above pre-pandemic levels.

"Consecutive quarters of declines clearly paint a gloomy picture of the PC market, but this is really all about perception," Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, said in a statement. "2021 was near historic levels for PC shipments, so any comparison is going to be distorted."

But the market research firm voiced optimism about the PC market's near future, saying "the market has the potential to recover in 2024 and we also see pockets of opportunity throughout the remainder of 2023."

Lenovo retained its PC market crown in the quarter by shipping 15.5 million units for a 23% market share. Still, its shipments were down more than 28% from the year-ago period. No. 2 HP saw a slightly greater decline in shipments, at 29%, while No. 3 Dell fell 37%.

Apple was the only computer maker that appeared to come out of the quarter largely unscathed. The Mac maker captured the No. 4 position by shipping 7.5 million units, a decline of 2.1% from the same quarter in 2021.