Shipments of PCs worldwide dropped by 5 percent to 88.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, partly caused by a slump in the US market that’s been hit by supply chain issues and decline in pandemic-driven demand, according to Gartner. 

However, demand from certain markets, including Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), remained positive, with shipments to the region growing by 7.4 percent year-over-year to 26 million units, the highest volume in five years. 

The Asia Pacific market, excluding Japan, also expanded by 11.5 percent year-over-year. 

Overall, the latest preliminary data marked the first time that global shipments have declined year-over-year since 2020, when millions of people were advised to work or study from home to curb the spread of coronavirus. For the whole of 2021, PC shipments still reached 339.8 million, up by 9.9 percent from 2020. 

Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner’s Research Director, said that a sharp decline in the US, caused by ongoing supply chain issues and the collapse in demand for Chromebooks, drove the slowdown in global demand for PC in the last quarter. 

“This likely signifies the end of the massive and unexpected growth in PC demand triggered by the pandemic,” he said. 

“However, the fourth quarter’s decline only slightly tempered the PC market’s growth in 2021, which saw the highest shipment volume since 2013.” 

Popular units 

Units produced by Lenovo topped the charts in the fourth quarter, with 21.7 million shipments, followed by HP with 18.6 million, Dell (17.2 million), Apple (6.8 million) and Acer Group (6.2 million). 

Lenovo and HP saw their shipments decline by nearly 12 percent and 4 percent, respectively, while Dell gained market share after nothing a fifth consecutive quarter of growth. Its strong performance was driven by markets in Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria ) 

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