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PC monitor shipments hit a nine-year high in 2021 but slowdown is expected

Research firm predicts monitor shipments will continue to shrink in 2022 - but will “stabilise after”

A man sat in front of two monitors while in a video meeting

IDC has revealed that 2021 was the strongest performing year for PC monitor shipments since 2012.

The research firm’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker revealed that the market saw 143.6 million units shipped globally across 2021, which was the highest since the 150.3 million shipped in 2012.

However, a weaker second half of the year hampered the considerable momentum seen in the first, which registered year-over-year growth of a whopping 19.4%.

Challenges faced in the third quarter carried through to the fourth, with the market continuing its quarterly decline. As a result, shipments shrank 5.2% over the same period in 2020.

Despite mature regions slowing in that time, volume was strengthened by emerging markets catching up on backlogs, while global commercial volume helped to offset a “softer consumer base”.

“However, even as monitor component supplies improved to some degree, persistent challenges from high shipping rates and Asian supply chain lockdowns remained,” IDC said. “These challenges that defined the latter half of the year are expected to play well into 2022 and will lead to a 3.6% year-over-year decline in 2022.”

Overall, the market did still manage to exceed expectations, ending 2021 with a 5% year-over-year growth rate.

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"2021 marked the end of the longest run for monitors, which saw an uninterrupted growth spurt from 2018 to 2021," said Jay Chou, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Client Devices Trackers. "Whether it was businesses refreshing PCs and monitors as they moved towards Windows 11 or the pandemic pivot towards work from home, these developments gave a much-needed boost to what had been a staid industry.

“However, we now see growing saturation, inflationary pressures from the pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis further accelerating an already cooling environment in 2022, when we expect monitor shipments to shrink 3.6% and then stabilize after."

In terms of individual companies, Dell and Lenovo were the only two in the current Top 5 to deliver shipment growth in Q4 2021, with both outgrowing the market and registering 7.2% and 6.3% growth respectively.

IDC said firms that had better control of their supply chain or a stronger presence in emerging markets fared better during the period.

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