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PC market decline: the post-pandemic period is tough for many players

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Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1660924846*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

Most of the major companies in the IT world are showing sharp declines in results, and things are not about to get any better.

Since the first containment and especially the first work reorganization measures, the PC market has experienced a rather phenomenal growth that it had not known for many years. The need for high-performance equipment to perform tasks at home that were done in the office pushed many households to equip themselves. Significant shortages appeared and in some market segments, it was particularly difficult to find any product, with considerable price increases as a result.

This was particularly the case for graphics cards, which simply disappeared from retailers' shelves for many months. This period, which was sometimes difficult for potential customers but particularly good for suppliers, lasted for many months, as long as the restrictions linked to the pandemic were in use and a little more. Thus, during the rest of 2020 and the whole of 2021, PC sales reached record highs with record profits for companies in the sector. Such a situation could not last, however.

By the end of last year, the first clouds began to appear, and it was mainly in the first two quarters of 2022 that the trend was reversed. Some analysts have referred to the " end of the playground " while others have spoken of "the party being over ". However, the conclusion is the same and most of the major Taiwanese accounts are now betting on an overall drop in graphics card sales of 40 to 50% over the whole of 2022. Logically, a company like NVIDIA - which has benefited from the needs of telecommuters as much as crypto-miners - is particularly hard hit.

While the turnaround on the graphics card side is obvious, virtually all players in the PC world are affected. Intel, for example, could see its revenue fall by $8 billion to $11 billion in 2022, while PC sales are estimated to fall by about 10% over 2022 compared to 2021. In the more specific area of Chromebooks, there is even talk of a staggering 50 to 60% drop in sales, while Windows laptops are expected to limit the drop to -10 / -15% over a year.

However, we must not forget that these drops are more like a correction after two years of sustained and unpredictable growth. The market in 2022 is still very high compared to the years 2018 and 2019 for example. Moreover, two companies manage to pull through, AMD and Apple. AMD sees its sales drop by 12 to 16% according to analysts, but the group's net income should remain positive and the brand can congratulate itself for continuing to take market share from its long-time rival, Intel.

Finally, Apple's success is almost insolent and we are not talking about the sales of its famous iPhone. No, thanks to the success of its M1 - and soon M2 - processors, the Apple firm has seen its MacBook sales reach new heights. Apple's various specialists now estimate that over the whole of 2022, 28 million machines could be delivered, with sales steadily increasing for more than twelve months.