This Year, Too, We Will Buy Fewer PCs, Tablets and Smartphones

The declining market for PCs, tablets and smartphones will continue this year, albeit less sharply. Inflation and lessons from the pandemic mean consumers and businesses are less likely to spend money.

Market analyst Gartner comes with figures that are not cheerful for the sector. This year there will be 6.8 percent fewer PCs sold. That is on top of the 16 percent drop in 2022. It expects 2.9 percent fewer sales this year than the 12 percent drop last year for tablets. The smartphone market is shrinking by 4 percent after a drop of 11 percent last year.

The reasons for this decline are varied. Due to the pandemic, working from home is still very common in many places, so many users are less likely to switch their devices. For telephones, the average end user uses a device for six to nine months longer.

The absence of new useful technology also makes people less likely to buy a new device. In other words: the smartphone is mature, and you only replace mature products when they break or become too slow.

Gartner does not make any specific statements for tablets, but that market has been struggling for some time with the ‘problem’ of little innovation and devices that last relatively long. With only 132 million units, it is also the smallest category of the three.

Gartner notes that most manufacturers are out of stock today for the PC market, which will normalize by the middle of 2023. In addition, demand from consumers and business users is in the doldrums due to inflation and the risk of a recession, which means people spend less quickly. As a result, a PC is used on average nine months longer.

Gartner notes that the introduction of Windows 11 at the end of 2021 is insufficiently driving the sale of new devices. In the past, such a new version was often the ideal opportunity for PC sellers to convince both consumers and companies to buy a new copy. Unfortunately, that is hardly the case now.

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