Worldwide PC shipments are on pace to decline 9.5% in 2022, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. The PC market is expected to experience the steepest decline of all device segments this year. “A perfect storm of geopolitics upheaval, high inflation, currency fluctuations, and supply chain disruptions have lowered business and consumer demand for devices across the world, and is set to impact the PC market the hardest in 2022,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner. “Consumer PC demand is on pace to decline 13.1% in 2022 and will plummet much faster than business PC demand, which is expected to decline 7.2% year over year.”
From a regional perspective, the EMEA PC market is forecast to record a 14% decline in 2022, driven by a lack of consumer PC demand. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine, price increases, and unavailability of products due to of lockdowns in China are significantly impacting consumer demand in the region. Overall, global shipments of total devices (PCs, tablets, and mobile phones) are on pace to decline by 7.6% in 2022, with Greater China and Eastern Europe including Eurasia recording double-digit declines (See Table 1).
5G Phone Shipments in Greater China Expected to Decline in 2022
While global mobile phone shipments are expected to decline 7.1% in 2022, smartphone shipments are estimated to decrease 5.8% year over year. Regionally, Greater China will be hit the hardest with smartphone shipments on pace to decline by 18.3% in 2022. Regionally, Greater China has been leading the adoption of 5G phones over the last two years. However, the collapse of the smartphone market in the region will mean a 2% decline in 5G phone shipments in 2022, after growing 65% in 2021.
“At the beginning of the year, the Greater China 5G phone market was expected to show double-digit growth,” said Atwal. “The impact of China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy and resulting lockdowns have dramatically reversed this trend. Large numbers of consumers stopped buying non-essential items including 5G smartphones.” In 2022, Gartner expects worldwide 5G phone shipments will total 710 million units. While this is an increase of 29% from 2021, it is down from previous expectations. “The growth rate is significantly down from an expected increase of 47% at the start of the year, with a resulting loss of 95 million 5G phone shipments,” said Atwal.
The demand for 5G phones is expected to pick up at a faster pace in 2023. “Much of the migration to 5G will occur by default as users will replace older 4G smartphones at the end of their life cycle with 5G-compatible smartphones,” said Atwal.