Bump in the PC CPU market: it suffers its biggest drop in sales in decades

The PC market and its components is experiencing a fairly strong slump in terms of sales. This is revealed by a report by Mercury Research, which indicates that the market for x86 processors has experienced «largest quarterly and year-over-year decline in our 30 years of history«. So much so that according to Tom’s Hardware, its researcher Dean McCarron assures that the results of the last quarter of 2022, and of the entire year, will register the worst drop in the history of PC processors.

This decline has been caused by a combination of low demand and inventory correction. This has led to sales of 374 million units of processors, excluding those of ARM, in 2022. It is a figure 21% lower than that of 2021. As for the income from said sales, they reached 65,000 million dollars , 19% over the previous year.

Despite these drops in figures compared to 2021, it must be taken into account, yes, that the income obtained from the sale of processors in 2022 was higher than that of any of the years of the past decade. Another positive point of the data in the report is that AMD gains market share in server CPUs, the only segment that grew somewhat in the last quarter of 2022. Indeed, last year the market share rose to almost 30%, up from about 23% in 2021.

The blame for most of the sales decline lies, according to Mercury Research, in sales of excess inventory in previous quarters, which has affected current sales. This, coupled with CPU vendors are deliberately limiting sales, to help increase the rate of consumer inventory; to concerns about macroeconomic weakness and lower demand for computer processors, has led to this historic drop in sales. But also because PC manufacturers are lowering their inventory of CPUs.

In addition, the current situation makes the downward trend in PC CPU sales go to continue through the first half of 2023. Therefore, for Mercury the situation will improve as of this summer, a prediction that seems to be in line with those of other consultancies, which are betting on a second half of the year with changes and improvements in CPUs and GPUs that will revive the market for PCs.

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