Gartner says Chromebooks take biggest hit as PC sales plunge

With a perfect storm of economic upheaval, war in Ukraine and supply chain difficulties, Gartner is predicting that worldwide PC sales could drop almost 10% this year. But all the woes can’t be attributed just to these external conditions.

Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner, who helped author the report, says there are other factors at play here too. “I was expecting the forecast to come down anyway for consumers this year, and the forecast coming into the year for consumers was already negative. And much of that was based on the fact that so many consumers bought PCs through 2020 and 2021,” he said.

He says that when you combine that with these other conditions, it’s led to this inevitable decline this year. “All of that has dramatically been increased by what’s happening with the total discretionary spend and inflation and pricing and everything else. So whilst you know there’s no doubt there was going to be less people buying anyway, there’s also going to be some who are going to be deferring the buying due to other reasons.”

Table from Gartner showing PC sales will be down 9.5 percent for 2022.

Image Credits: Gartner

After shipping 342,000 units last year, up 11% year over year, the firm is expecting just 310,000 units for this year, down 9.5%. This number is just looking at PCs, which includes Windows PCs, Chromebooks and Macs.

Chromebooks are expected to take the biggest hit with Gartner predicting that they will be down a whopping 30% this year compared to 3% for PCs with Macs expected to be flat.

Some areas of the world are going to take a bigger hit than others, as well, with double-digit declines expected in Eastern Europe and China.

The report also looked at tablets with those numbers expected to drop 9.5%, while phone shipments were expected to be off 7.1% with the total of all three categories down 7.6% in 2022.