PC shipments in the United States fell double digits in the first quarter of 2022, mainly due to the collapse in Chromebook orders, but the effect of inflation and a greater mix of more capable machines increased the value of those sales.
According to data compiled by technology analyst Canalys, some 19.554 million units were shipped in the channel in the three months, down 14% year-on-year, but revenue was up 40%.
This is the third straight quarter of unit sales declines after “the relative strengths of end-user segments shifted,” said research analyst Brian Lynch. “The consumer and education segments saw demand slow further due to market saturation and growing concerns over inflation, which peaked in March at 8.5%, the rate of increase over 12 months highest since 1981.”
The United States typically accounts for up to 80% of global Chromebook sales, however, the rapid growth rates seen in the early stages of the pandemic have disappeared for now.
Laptop sales fell 22% in the quarter, “primarily due to lower purchases of Chromebooks for education, which peaked in early 2021,” the analyst said. Tablet sales edged up 5%, due to a backlog of orders ahead of the holiday season that extends into 2022.
And so it’s down to the humble desktop computer to help drive the market: desktop machine shipments are up 33%. Lynch said hybrid works continue to be a “key driver for commercial shipping.”
“Features that support hybrid workstyles, such as better audio/video capabilities and longer battery life, have become increasingly important, giving workers more reason to request upgrades. device level.
Lynch believes that enterprise PC demand will hold up this year, “despite the macroeconomic pressure facing the PC industry and will help limit the expected overall drop in shipments.”
The reason for the explosion of income in the United States is multiple: the evolution of the market towards professional devices and the “constraints of supply and logistics” push the suppliers to privilege the supplies of components towards more precious machines.
Dell continued to lead the US PC market in both laptops and desktops, with shipments growing 7% to 5.147 million. Apple and Acer were also up, up 18% and 3% to 2.671 million units and 1.1 million units respectively.
HP was hit hard by the Chromebook factor, down 40% to 4.298 million, as was Lenovo which announced a drop in shipments of 24% to 3.263 million units.
During conference call last week to discuss his most recent earnings, HP Inc CEO and Chairman Enrique Lores said he was executing as part of a plan to “expand into valuable [market] adjacencies” and “build a more growth-oriented portfolio”.
Lores agreed that “the age-old tailwinds associated with hybrid working” are driving the PC industry.
“The way people work and live has fundamentally changed, and we see this trend continuing in our segments long after the pandemic. This creates incredible opportunities for innovation and growth.”
In his latest earnings call with analysts, Luca Rossi, Senior Vice President, Lenovo Group, said average unit prices will continue to rise in 2022 “due to improved mix premium” and “more business” where margins are higher.
However, Lenovo warned that lockdowns in Shanghai, which mostly ended last week, would reduce product availability, which Apple and Cisco echoed.
Canalys’ Lynch said: “The US market remains a priority for many suppliers, so while short-term supply may be limited, it will be to a lesser extent than in other regions.” ®