Unit sales of mobile computing devices through distributors could return to growth by the second half of the year if supply issues ease and cost-of-living challenges have a reduced impact, according to CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.
The figures come from CONTEXT’s new forecasting report which reveals that mobile demand is continuing to drive the PC market and should remain high, especially among businesses. However, organisations are being more discerning about purchases and economic and geopolitical uncertainty may hit consumer sales.
Supply and demand remain a key issue. There are more products available than last year; European distributors are holding 7–9 weeks of stock but it’s not always the right stock.
“Some products that have been in transit for many months are outdated by the time they arrive”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT. “Russia’s war in Ukraine and additional Covid lockdowns in Asia have also added to supply chain headaches and costs. However, there are some positives. Windows 11 migration will drive more PC sales in the second half of the year, as may an increased appetite for more sustainable and secure products.”
With these factors in mind, CONTEXT has developed two forecasts for the next year.
The first is based on a pessimistic scenario where supply improves but the disconnect between product availability and demand continues, desktop demand remains soft, and economic factors (such as inflation) hit consumer and commercial demand – especially the former. In this case, we could see mobile computing growth of −21.7% in Q2 2022 rise to −1% in Q3 and return to low positive values in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023. For desktop computers, growth would drop from −5.6% in Q2 2022 to −6.9% in Q3 before rising again – albeit not to positive levels.
The second, optimistic, scenario imagines improvements in supply and desktop demand, price drops, Q2 excess stock selling out, and economic factors having a smaller impact. In this situation, the growth in mobile computing unit sales could go from −7.1% in Q2 to 10.9% in Q3 2022 before stabilising in Q4 and tailing off in Q1 2023. Desktop growth would hover at −2.3% in Q2 2022 and stay at a similar level (−2.7%) in Q3 2022 before becoming positive in the following two quarters.