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It’s no secret that the holiday season wasn’t kind to the personal computer market. According to analyst firms Gartner and International Data Corp (IDC), global PC shipments took a major hit, plummeting by a staggering 28 percent.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like things will be looking up anytime soon. Both firms predict that the market won’t recover significantly until 2024.

Gartner reported that global PC shipments slipped by 28.5 percent to 65.3 million units in the fourth quarter. “The largest quarterly shipment decline since Gartner began tracking the PC market in the mid-1990s”, the firm said.


The figures are worse than the quarter before, which was previously considered the worst quarterly drop in shipments. Gartner reported that PC shipments fell by 16.2 percent for the full year, totalling 286.2 million units.

Meanwhile, IDC said that global PC shipments came in at 67.2 million units in the fourth quarter, a 28.1 percent decrease. For the full year, IDC reported a decline of 16.5 percent, totalling 292.3 million units.

Lenovo and HP

When looking at the performance of the top PC manufacturers, Gartner’s numbers largely aligned with those reported by IDC. However, when it came to Apple, there were some discrepancies due to the different methodologies used by the firms.

Gartner reported that Apple suffered a 10.2 percent decline in shipments, totalling 7 million units. Meanwhile, IDC said Apple’s PC sales only fell by 2.1%, totalling 7.5 million units.

It’s worth noting that the two firms regularly disagree on Apple’s performance. In the last quarter, IDC’s numbers were closest to the ones reported by Apple in its official financial results. Overall, Lenovo and HP experienced the largest drops of 28.6 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively.

Tip: ‘PC sales continue to decline’