PC and tablet sales are set to plummet again

A person using a laptop at home.
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Sales of PC and tablet devices are set for a huge hit across the globe as the worsening economic situation and rising inflation affect another major market.

The latest report from IDC paint a dire picture of the coming years for PC manufacturers and tablet fans alike, with sales set to fall dramatically following a spike during the pandemic.

The analyst firm predicts that shipments of "traditional" PCs (desktops, notebooks and workstations) will fall 12.8% in 2022, with tablet shipments declining by 6.8% as consumer and enterprise buyers across the world tighten their belts.

PC sales fall

The consumer market is set to see a 9.9% fall in shipments as desire for newer devices dries up due to the worsening economic situation. Enterprise sales are set to see a 1.6% year-on-year decline, with SMB shipments falling 10.5% compared to 2021.

Overall, IDC estimates total PC and tablet sales of 462.1 million units in 2022, a 10.8% fall compared to the previous year.

The firm notes it expects shipments will continue to decline throughout 2023, where the combined PC and tablet market is estimated to fall 2.6% due to a slowing in consumer and education sector demand, and enterprise targets still being forced to monitor budgets.

However the outlook is not entirely bleak, with sales then set to see a return to growth in 2024. By 2026, IDC predicts that sales across the global PC market will have overtaken the 2022 shipment figures.

"Though demand is slowing, the outlook for shipments remains above pre-pandemic levels," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. 

"Long-term demand will be driven by a slow economic recovery combined with an enterprise hardware refresh as support for Windows 10 nears its end. Educational deployments and hybrid work are also expected to become a mainstay driving additional volumes."

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.