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Global device shipments to shrink in 2023

Global device shipments to shrink in 2023

PC shipments to drop the most out of all device types, but still an improvement over last year.

Credit: Photo 14034461 © Konstantin Kirillov |

Global shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are forecast to decline by 4.4 per cent year-on-year in 2023 to 1.7 billion units, easing up considerably from 2022’s drop of 11.9 per cent.

This is according to research firm Gartner, which claimed this is based on the expectation of a less pessimistic economic outlook for the year, with the potential prospect of consumer and business spending rising.

However, the increase is predicted to not be enough to bring shipments into positive growth territory.

“The depressed economic market will continue to dampen demand for devices throughout 2023. In fact, end-user spending on devices is projected to decline 5.1 per cent in 2023,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner.

“Just as business confidence was beginning to recover after the worst of the pandemic, it has now fallen significantly in most regions. We do not expect relief from inflation and the bottom of the recession to occur until the fourth quarter of 2023.”

Of the three device types, PC shipments are expected to have the worst decline, falling 6.8 per cent to 268 million units shipped. By comparison, last year shipments declined by 16 per cent.

However, PC levels are anticipated to return to normal by the second half of 2023.

“Inventory levels increased due to vendors overestimating market demand and because of the collapse in consumer confidence and dramatic fall in demand,” Atwal added.

Meanwhile, Gartner also said it expects more than 25 per cent of business PCs' operating systems (OS) will be upgraded to Windows 11, but will not reach the level of sales seen between 2020 and 2022.

Additionally, consumers and businesses are forecast to extend their PC and tablet replacement cycles by over nine months by the end of 2023 due to high inflation rates and impending recessions resulting in the decrease of discretionary spending and budgets.

This comes off the back of Gartner's analysis last month that 2022's fourth quarter drop was the largest since the firm began its PC coverage in the mid-1990s.

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