The end of the biggest boom the personal-computer industry has ever seen is ugly, and its isn’t over. The holiday season saw what is believed to be the biggest year-over-year decline in PC shipments in history, according to reports from two market-research firms that cover the industry, after they dove harder than the record-level decline the quarter before. IDC recorded PC shipments falling 28.1% to 67.2 million units, while Gartner reported that PC units fell 28.5% in the fourth quarter to 65.3 million.
“There’s no question when we look back at this time that the rise and fall of the PC market will be one for the record books,” IDC analyst Ryan Reith said in a statement. He added that “plenty of opportunity still lies ahead,” and that the market has plenty of potential to recover. Don’t expect that in the immediate future, though. “We believe PC inventories continue to remain high, with potential overhang in [first half] 2023, and we model declines for the next few quarters, with muted recovery in the near term as recession woes delay commercial upgrade cycle,” Jim Suva, a Citigroup analyst, wrote in a note Wednesday. Suva said that the holiday decline was worse than he thought, as he had been modeling a 22% decline. In the end, every manufacturer except for Apple Inc.