According to new industry estimates, global PC shipments fell sharply in the first quarter of 2022, marking the end of the PC sales boom during the pandemic.

Research company Gartner said it estimated PC shipments were down 7.3 percent year-on-year to 77.5 million units, driven primarily by a sharp drop in Chromebooks, and low-cost Chrome OS laptops.

In the first quarter of 2021, PC sales grew the fastest in 20 years as consumers and businesses bought new laptops and desktops for remote work and study. In 2021, PC sales grew by about 15%, returning to 2012 after almost a decade of slow growth or no growth.

Reports from other research companies also showed a decline. According to IDC, the number of shipped units decreased by 5.1% to approximately 80.5 million units. Canalys noticed a 3% drop in shipments in the first three months of 2022, although total PC sales revenue is estimated to be still rising. Gartner noted that the PC market grew by 3.3% annually, except for the Chromebook.

The industry has faced problems with the supply of parts needed for laptops and desktops due to the global shortage of chips during the boom in PC sales. PC vendors also stopped shipping new computers to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine.

Companies making PCs or key parts such as processors have hoped the pandemic has created a new higher level of sales for the industry, but some analysts warn that there are signs that growth could slow sharply as so many people have already bought new computers.

According to Gartner, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, Asus, and Acer were the six largest PC companies in terms of the number of units delivered in the first quarter.