ICT in 2022: Personal Computers and Monitors
PCs are for many the model of what a real computer represents: you are free to equip it with whatever you want or need, and there are no limits other than your budget, how much processing power you need, and the technology available on the market. This in principle sounds like a world of possibilities and it is, although the reality has evolved a lot since the launch of the first computer. PCs take the market with their modularity and adaptability to your needs. In the early days, portability was not a priority (nor could it be because of the technology available). This extends to the fact that the generalized use of a tower requires peripheral elements for the use of its components, i.e. a keyboard, a mouse, and a screen. This combo was necessary to be able to use the PC. The display has been an element that has also evolved a lot over time, to become a category in itself: developing products for all industries and special markets for different needs (such as medical monitors).
The possibilities and applications are endless. But the reality of the market is that about 30% of the market is fed by office spaces, where PCs show the advantage of being tailored exactly to the needs (professional offices, government offices, etc.). The total PC sales market has lost ground in recent years for several reasons: 1. The growth of the smartphone market due to improved performance, parts, features, and applications; 2.Pursuit of mobility with electronic devices.
We should also point out that the PC market is not totally dead. In 2020 volumes reached record numbers: with 11% growth over 2019, 297 million units were sold, the highest number of shipments since 2014 (1), although projections indicate a steady decline in sales from this climax point.
Monitors respond to many needs, although they originally accompanied desktop monitors have become a flexible and fundamental tool for many industries and work practices.
PCs: Future and trends
The last 10 years have been complex for desktop computers. The portability advantage that a laptop offers, among the reasons mentioned above, has caused their volume to fluctuate within limits that are projected to be constrained in the coming years. One of the most important factors in the growth of PC usage was the growth of Internet users, which has been the case since 2000. This is also true for laptops and tablets, which have also been growing steadily (2).
The actual volume of units sold for the first quarter of 2022 decreased by 30% from the previous quarter. Surprising given that chip manufacturing has regained ground in the face of COVID-19 challenges and supply chain issues. A clear trend of wanting immediate access to entertainment and work has set the latest trends. Although there are still many users of these devices who prefer a desktop: for comfort, convenience, or specific needs to perform their work. Added to this is the pandemic that has shrunk the market even further. While the main CPU competitors for desktops (AMD and Intel) have managed to maintain sales during the pandemic as a result of excess inventory, in 2022 they saw the worst quarter in history: a 30% drop in units sold compared to the previous quarter (3). These differences in volumes between the 2020 peak and the 2022 figures respond to the short trends created by the pandemic: where remote work and education became a priority to continue in a quarantined everyday life.
The truth is that a negative trend is expected for the coming years: portable devices are expected to continue to gain market share given advances in design, chip technology, displays, and storage; as well as battery development and applications suitable for performing tasks that only a few years ago could only be done by a PC. The peak seen in 2020 is expected to respond to the Pandemic and its effect will be short-lived, the trend is towards a decrease in demand: from 150 million units in 2010 to 79 million in 2020 (3).