Desktop Shipments Nosedive in Q1 2022 Driven By Cooling PC Demand

The boom that PCs experienced during the pandemic era is no longer underway, with many noticing a significant cool down in demand in the past year. Desktop CPUs saw their shipments decrease by a massive 30% in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. According to Mercury Research (via Tomshardware), this is the single biggest drop in shipments that the industry has seen so far, although that might make things seem worse than they actually are.

The surge in PC demand during the days of lockdowns in 2020 are making the numbers seem truly catastrophic, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that this is more of a stabilization of the industry. Retailers may have overstocked PC units in anticipation of sustained demand, and that might have left them with a surplus that resulted in fewer shipments being requested last quarter with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Also, Q4 2021 was a bit of an outlier in shipments. The year on year statistic show an 11% drop which is a lot more modest, and one long term impact that this supercycle had is that it helped AMD eat away at some of Intel’s market share. AMD’s total share of the desktop CPU market was around 20.7% in the first quarter of 2021, and it rose to 27.7% by the first quarter of 2022.

Hence, this drop might be more of a negative phenomenon for Intel than AMD, since the latter has seen some positive trends in the past year. With component shortages further complicating matters and creating supply chain bottlenecks and a tense geopolitical situation continuing between Russia and Ukraine, the industry might continue to cool down during the rest of 2022.

It will be interesting to see what kind of an impact this has on the industry in general. AMD specializes in gaming chips, so we might be seeing the rise of PCs as gaming consoles instead of computers that you might use to get work done.

Read next: Mobile Gaming Revenues for Q1 2022 See 6% YoY Decline
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