PC sales slumped in the US - but it wasn't bad news for everyone

Young woman sitting alone using a tablet
(Image credit: Jay Yuno / Getty Images)

New research has claimed computer sales have fallen as we head into the festive period, but there can be some positives which may indicate an overhaul to the way we think about computing.

Findings from analyst firm Canalys suggest that US shipments of desktops, notebooks, and workstations were down by 12% in Q3 2022 compared with the same time period last year.

Notebooks saw the most significant decline which Canalys attributes to “cautious business spending”, on top of a decline in consumer demand.

PC sales 2022

The report claims fewer people were also looking to buy tablets, too, which could be thanks in part to the largely inflated prices in recent months. 

While Apple’s updated flagship 12.9-inch iPad Pro remained unchanged at $1,099 in the US, other markets saw costs rise significantly with the introduction of the M2 model, with UK prices rising from £999 to £1,249.

Canalys research analyst Brian Lynch explains that “the previously resilient commercial segment has started to wane, posting its first year-on-year decline in 2022.” 

Lynch continues: “Looking ahead, the US PC market will face further headwinds… Despite the Q4 holiday season, the market will suffer a continued downturn.”

Apple shifted the most units in Q3 2022 by a long shot, but Canalys research uncovers that many of these comprised unfulfilled sales from previous quarters, combined with specific demand for the newly launched, high-end M2-powered devices.

Over half of the sales were made up of iPads, too, helping Dell to maintain its position as market leader with the largest share in desktops and notebooks, followed by HP in third position.

While the news seems bleak for traditional computing devices, this could be a sign of a change in trends towards more portable devices. Amazon’s tablet sales were up by 19.5% year-on-year, closing the gap between it and Apple which has been shifting its attention away from its budget models. TCL saw a 133.2% increase in its tablet market share, selling around 600,000 units up from approximately 200,000.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!