A couple of years ago, everyone seemed to need a PC. The COVID-19 pandemic caught us by surprise and had us locked up at home, and that meant filling homes with PCs and laptops to be able to continue working and studying. That surprising resurgence in sales had an expiration date and now, with the worst of the pandemic over — it seems, fortunately — the impact has been clear for that market. The PC goes down again. And a lot.
intel crashes. The company has fallen 22% in revenue in the last quarter, and in fact did not make a profit: it lost 454 million dollars when a year ago it earned 5,000.
Part of those losses are due to its efforts to launch its new family of dedicated graphics cards, which still can’t compete with the best of NVIDIA and AMD but are a promising first step. Be that as it may, what is clear is that what has happened at Intel is a clear symptom of something much more important: people no longer want (or need) so many PCs.
Microsoft and “the deteriorating PC market”. The global software giant presented quarterly results this week and saved the furniture: it grew 12% in revenue and 2% in profit compared to the same period of the previous year, but saw how the Windows and Xbox divisions suffered stumbles.
In fact, the firm lost 2% in revenue in the Windows OEM division —the one that preinstalls Windows on manufacturers’ PCs and laptops— alleging production problems due to post-pandemic stoppages, but also explaining that there is a deterioration in the market of the PC. The good news: despite everything, Surface sales grew by 10%.
Macs also fall. Apple also revived Mac sales with the pandemic, and the appearance of the M1 chips further boosted sales. In the results presented yesterday they indicated that the Mac division had lost 10% in sales compared to the same period last year, although Tim Cook suggested that it was because they had been releasing inventory and demand remained strong.
The one who warns is not a traitor. The consulting firm Gartner already warned weeks ago that things were going to get complicated for the segment of PCs and laptops. The pandemic effect was disappearing and they estimated that in 2022 there would end up being a 9.5% drop in sales compared to 2021. The back-to-school campaign may manage to liven things up a bit, but it seems that we are returning to that old (and logical ) trend of progressive decline in PC sales.