Global PC Shipments Fall 15% YoY in Q2 2023, Record First QoQ Growth After Q1 2022

  • Global PC shipments fell 15% YoY in Q2 2023 but rose 8% QoQ.
  • PC OEMs’ rankings remained unchanged.
  • HP and Apple reported relatively resilient performance.
  • We maintain a double-digit YoY shipment decline outlook for 2023.
  • Global PC shipments will return to pre-COVID-19 levels in H2 2023.

London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – July 14, 2023

Global PC shipments fell 15% YoY in Q2 2023 but rose 8% QoQ, according to Counterpoint’s PC tracker service. Although the inventory levels continued to normalize in Q2, another double-digit YoY decline was recorded after the 28% YoY decline in Q1. Therefore, the YoY decline in Q2 can be seen as relatively stabilizing the shipment downturn since Q1 2022. Also, the QoQ growth in Q2 was the first since Q1 2022. The shipment numbers of Q2 can be considered an early sign of stabilization in the PC market. We can expect a mild recovery in H2 2023 due to the absence of solid growth drivers.

Global PC shipment
Source: Counterpoint Research

Vendors except HP and Apple suffered double-digit shipment declines

Lenovo’s solid #1 place in shipments remained unchanged in Q2, though the company still experienced an 18% YoY decline due to persistent soft demand in some markets. The double-digit sequential growth is a sign of normalizing demand and healthier inventory levels.

HP’s 22% market share was the highest since Q2 2021, while its resilient shipment numbers were a mix of early inventory correction and incremental Chromebook orders.

Dell reported sequential shipment growth in the quarter but a double-digit YoY decline due to overall demand weakness.

Apple saw a high single-digit shipment growth when compared to last year. The growth was largely due to the relatively low Q2 2022 and partially due to new product launches.

Negative factors are weakening in H2 2023

Though the global PC market shipments saw their first QoQ rise after Q1 2022 in Q2, according to Counterpoint’s Macro Index Tracker, the market may have to experience some turbulence in the second half of this year before seeing the first sunrise. Based on our checks, the end demand has picked up to become stronger than OEM shipments (sell-in), which would likely translate into accelerating re-order demand. In H2 2023, we are expecting back-to-school momentum to strengthen sales numbers coupled with potential AI-enabled and Arm laptop launches. Overall, the market is stepping away from the lull and moving toward a new post-COVID-19 normal.

Global PC shipment
Source: Counterpoint Research

Global PC shipments to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in H2 2023

We expect the QoQ rebound seen in Q2 2023 to sustain throughout the rest of the year. However, we reiterate our cautiously optimistic view on shipment performance in H2, as we still expect the shipments to decline YoY in the coming quarters before ultimately regaining their growth momentum. Therefore, we maintain our outlook of a double-digit YoY shipment decline in the 2023 full year. But the shipments will return to pre-COVID-19 levels in H2 2023.

We believe the PC inventory will enter 2024 at a healthy level after two more quarters of adjustments. Replacement demand, AI-enabled models and Chromebook renewal could be potential growth drivers even as we keep a close eye on enterprise expenditure plans.

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Apple Mac Studio First Impressions: Mighty Little Computer for Creative Professionals

  • The refreshed Apple Mac Studio was launched during WWDC 2023.
  • It is powered by the M2 Max SoC or M2 Ultra SoC and comes with up to 192GB of unified memory and 8TB of SSD.
  • The Mac Studio has a price tag starting at $1,999.

Apple announced the new Mac Studio earlier this month at the WWDC 2023. Although it looks the same as last year’s Mac Studio, the internals have seen an upgrade. With prices starting at $1,999, the new Mac Studio is powered by either the M2 Max SoC or M2 Ultra SoC, while the memory and storage can be configured depending on the user’s needs.

We have acquired the M2 Max variant at the Counterpoint studio and have customized the machine with 64GB of unified storage and 1TB SSD, which cost around $2,599.

WATCH: Apple Mac Studio: Unboxing and First Impressions

Here are our initial impressions:

Solid build, compact and neat design

Unlike Windows-powered desktop computers, the Mac Mini and Mac Studio line have a very impressive compact design. Although it weighs between 2.7kg and 3.6kg, depending on the configuration, it takes up little space, reduces clutter and looks neat. The Mac Studio is a square-shaped aluminum box with rounded corners, a flat top with the Apple logo, and flat edges.

counterpoint apple mac studio first impressions top

The bottom half is tapered and has grille holes for the exhaust fan. The back houses all the major connectivity ports and a grille for ventilation. Talking about buttons and ports, you get two USB-C (Thunderbolt 4) ports in the front along with one SDXC card slot.

counterpoint apple mac studio first impressions back

At the back, there are four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, a 10Gb ethernet port, one HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a power button. The main power port is in the center. Overall, we love the neat and clean design.

One notable aspect is the use of sustainable materials for packaging. The packaging box is made from recycled cardboard and there is no plastic used.

ALSO READVision Pro, iOS 17, New Macs: Here’s Everything Announced at Apple WWDC 2023

Mac Studio specifications and configurations

The Mac Studio is available with either M2 Max or M2 Ultra SoC options. The base model with M2 Max SoC comes with a 12-core CPU, 30-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine for $1,999. For an additional $200, users can opt for a 38-core GPU.

Made on TSMC’s 5nm process node, the M2 Max has 67 billion transistors, and its AI performance can reach 15.8 TOPS (trillion operations per second). The chipset supports up to 10 streams of 8K ProRes video playback and support for up to five displays. It also brings upgrades to the wireless connections in the form of Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, making it future-proof for the next few years (although Wi-Fi 7 will become widely available from early 2024 after the standard is finalized).

counterpoint apple mac studio first impressions front

For a more powerful machine, users can get one with the M2 Ultra SoC featuring a 24-core CPU, 60-core GPU, and 32-core neural engine starting at $3,999. For an additional $1,000, users can get a 76-core GPU.

With the base model of M2 Max SoC, you get 512GB of SSD and 32GB of unified memory, but configurations allow up to 96GB of unified memory and 8TB SSD. This maxed-out version will cost $5,399. Similarly, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio base model comes with 64GB unified memory and 1TB SSD, which can be reconfigured to get up to a massive 192GB of unified memory and 8TB of SSD. The maxed-out version costs $7,799.

counterpoint apple mac studio first impressions bottom

ALSO READ: MacBook Pro 16 with M1 Pro SoC First Impressions: A Promising Upgrade for Content Creators

Initial impressions

It has only been a day since we got our hands on the Apple Mac Studio and we are still setting up the apps we require, like Adobe Premier Pro and After Effects, along with the required resources. Currently, we are using the M1 Pro-powered MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 as our video editing devices at the Counterpoint studio. We often run out of memory when rendering videos with a big timeline that includes audio, video, and some effects. That is a key reason why dedicated workstations are a must-have. With our new Mac Studio, featuring 64GB of unified storage, we expect the video editing process to be much smoother.

That said, we will be putting our M2 Max-powered Mac Studio through the paces for editing different forms of content and assessing the gaming performance. We will be putting it under stress tests too. More about the performance will be presented in our upcoming review, so stay tuned!

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Q1 2023 Global PC Shipments Mark Another Quarterly Decline, Gradual Recovery Expected in H2

  • Q1 2023 global PC shipments fell 28% YoY.
  • Inventory digestion likely to end in Q2 2023.
  • Although PC demand is expected to gradually recover in H2 2023, full-year shipments are set to decline by double-digit percentages.
  • Windows 11, commercial/flagship models and replacement cycles are key 2024 growth drivers.

Taipei, London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Seoul – April 17, 2023

Global PC shipments fell 28% YoY in Q1 2023

Global PC shipments dropped 28% YoY in Q1 2023 to hit 56.7 million units, the lowest quarterly numbers in the past 10 years, excluding Q1 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak interrupted manufacturing and production. The Q1 2023 decline was due to the continued delay in demand pickup amid an inventory correction during the quarter. However, we are cautiously optimistic and believe the overall PC market will start gradually recovering in the latter half of Q2 2023 which will pave the way for comparably stronger momentum in H2 2023.


Global PC Shipments by Vendor, Q1 2023

Counterpoint Research - Q1 2023 global PC shipments

The last mile of inventory digestion since mid-2022

The PC and PC components’ inventory issue has remained for more than half a year due to frozen demand and aggressive double booking. As we have already entered the post-pandemic era and are settling in with the new work environment and lifestyle, the PC industry has also adapted a lot with incremental demand from each consumer. However, increased devices per person do not imply continuous high-level demand for PCs, especially during economic downturns. Fortunately, based on feedback from OEM/ODMs, we are close to the end of PC inventory digestion which is expected by H1 2023. PC OEMs could begin executing their next step of PC strategies as consumer demand is gradually increasing.

Major OEMs, especially Apple, had a tough time in Q1 2023

Lenovo remained the world’s largest PC vendor in Q1 2023, despite a huge decline in shipments during the quarter. The company registered shipments of 12.8 million units in Q1 2023 and a market share of 23%. HP reported a relatively narrow adjustment in the quarter off a lower base in the year-ago period, maintained its second rank and retained its 21% market share. Dell’s better-than-expected performance in the US helped the company rank third in terms of global PC shipments during the quarter with a 17% market share. Apple suffered the most, marking a 38% YoY decline in shipments due to a higher base in the year-ago period and a longer replacement cycle.

We foresee slow-paced demand recovery

It is widely expected that PC demand will recover in H2 2023. PC OEMs are also looking forward to a pickup in demand following the inventory digestion. Although we did say that demand will recover post-inventory normalization, we are afraid demand recovery will take slightly longer to start accelerating. On the other hand, we believe the rate of demand recovery will vary across different categories. Based on our checks, demand for commercial segments and premium/flagship consumer product lines will likely recover faster than others and are expected to sell better in H2 2023. Arm laptops continue to be relatively vulnerable due to a lower shipment base a year ago and are more eye-catching to customers.

Inventory Correction Continues while YoY decline improves

Counterpoint Research - Shipment Performance Q1 2023


Another YoY double-digit percentage shipment contraction is expected in 2023

Although OEM vendors reported another quarterly shipment decline in Q1 2023, they maintain a cautiously-optimistic tone for PC demand in H2 2023. We further adjust our 2023 global PC shipments forecasts and expect to see a double-digit percentage shipment decline throughout 2023 from the original high single-digit percentage shipment decline at the end of 2022. Additionally, we expect a bright 2024 due to renewal demand from Chromebook and Windows 11, coupled with a replacement cycle since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Global PC Shipments in Q2 2022 See Largest YoY Decline Since Q2 2013

Taipei, London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Seoul – July 27, 2022

Global PC shipments fell 11.1% YoY in Q2 2022 to reach 71.2 million units and record the largest YoY decline since Q2 2013, according to Counterpoint data. The Q2 2022 decline was largely due to lockdowns in China’s Shanghai and Kunshan, which hit the PC supply chain. However, as the OEMs’ inventory continues to accumulate amid lackluster consumer demand globally, we believe supply issues will likely get resolved in the second half of this year.

Diminishing YoY PC Shipment Growth Since Q1 2021

Counterpoint Research - Global PC shipment by quarter

Source: Counterpoint Research

The macroeconomic turbulence continues to impact worldwide consumption momentum. Regional conflicts as well as global inflation have resulted in a downward sloping demand and consumer spending. Enterprises too are putting off their new purchases and device upgrades, though the orders from the commercial segment have remained more solid compared to the consumer segment. By region, the US and EU experienced relatively huge double-digit YoY declines in their Q2 2022 shipments, mainly dragged by Chromebook demand correction and soft consumer demand, as these regions had started seeing shipment growth ahead of other regions last year.

On the other hand, lockdowns in China during the quarter hit hard the laptop supply chain, as major laptop ODMs, including Quanta, Compal and Wistron, suffered manufacturing disruptions. The most harmful impacts were in April and May when we saw approximately 40% and 20% YoY declines respectively for key ODMs. Production lines resumed normal operations in the second half of May and were trying to clear order backlogs.

Major Laptop ODMs’ Inventory Levels (in $ mn)

Counterpoint Research - Major Laptop ODM's inventory level

Source: Counterpoint Research

Even though the top three brands showed a YoY decline in Q2 shipments, they all managed to keep their rankings unchanged. Lenovo maintained its leadership in the global PC market with a 24.4% share in Q2 2022. The brand’s total shipments fell 12.7% YoY to 17.4 million units mainly due to weak consumer demand, partly offset by moderate commercial orders.

HP suffered the most among the top brands in Q2 2022, reporting a 27% YoY decline in shipments from a high base last year. The sharp decline was mainly due to soft momentum for consumer products and Chromebooks. On the other hand, Dell had the smallest adjustment to its YoY shipment performance, thanks to a commercial/premium-focused product strategy.

Acer saw a 14.8% YoY shipment decline off a relatively high base in Q2 2021. Despite Chromebook weakness continuing to cap Acer’s growth momentum, its market exposure in entry- to mainstream-level laptops helped the brand take fourth place in global PC shipments in Q2 2022.

Apple reported a sharp decline of 20% YoY in its Q2 shipments largely due to supply chain disruption at Quanta’s manufacturing lines in China. The consumers too were waiting for a new MacBook series equipped with M2 chips. As a result, the company lost its fourth place in the global PC rankings for Q2 2022.

Asus’ Q2 shipments were down 7.7% YoY thanks to its commercial segment focus in recent quarters combined with consumer spending weakness entering 2022. The brand’s total shipments of 4.7 million made it share the fifth position with Apple in Q2 2022.

Global PC Shipments by Vendor, Q2 2022


Counterpoint Research - Q2 Global PC market share

More shipment adjustments seen

We had cut our 2022 shipment forecast in Q1 2022 to reflect the beginning of a weakening PC demand. But with persistent inflation pressure and enterprise spending saturating, we expect order adjustments to continue even as the average selling price plateaus on easing supply constraints. Therefore, we are revising our forecast for the 2022 PC shipments to a 9% YoY decline, with potential bright spots of new M2 MacBooks and desktop demand rebounding after the post-COVID-19 reopening of offices.

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Entry Into Flagship Segment, 5G AP/SOCs Lead to Strong Growth for MediaTek in Q1 2022

  • MediaTek recorded an impressive set of numbers for Q1 2022 with revenues growing 32% YoY and 10.2% QoQ to reach $4.8 billion. The company’s mobile phone segment achieved a revenue of $2.7 billion, growing 29% YoY. According to Counterpoint Research’s Smartphone, AP/SOC Shipment Tracker, the addition of the Dimensity 9000 to the premium segment has added meaningfully to the overall revenues that have also been driven by 5G AP/SOCs in the mid-tier segment. LTE AP/SOCs are still attracting high demand and will be in tight supply throughout 2022. Based on our data, LTE AP/SOCs contributed to one-third of the total AP shipments in Q1 2022.
Counterpoint Research MediaTek revenue by segment
MediaTek Revenue by segment
  • The smart edge segment contributed 39% to MediaTek’s Q1 2022 revenues. This segment is mainly driven by the Wi-Fi 6/6E migration and higher-end solutions for smart TVs and tablets. Technology migration trends in smart edge platforms have led to a higher blended ASP in this segment.
  • The power IC segment accounted for 8% of the total revenues, growing 52% YoY and 21% QoQ. A large part of the PMIC segment’s revenue is coming from displays and smartphones. Automotive and industrial applications contribute to 10% of the PMIC revenue and will drive growth for this segment in 2022.
  • MediaTek guided revenues to be in the range of $5-$5.3 billion in Q2 2022, up 3~10% QoQ and 17~25% YoY. The mobile phone segment will show the strongest growth due to the shifting of demand from LTE to 5G AP/SOCs. As the China market is slowing, the revenue growth will come from other regions like India and Europe. Also, the Dimensity 9000 and 8000 series will continue to add to the revenues in Q2 2022. However, due to the slowdown in China and deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, we have reduced our H2 2022 forecast for the Dimensity 9000.
  • Revenues from Wi-Fi 6, 5G SIM modem, 5G tablet, 10G-PON and 4K smart TV are also expected to grow strongly in H2 2022. Also, MediaTek’s mmWave SOC is on schedule to ship in the second half of 2022. It will pave the way for MediaTek’s further expansion in the global market.
  • According to Counterpoint Research’s Smartphone AP/SOC Shipment Tracker, MediaTek will continue to lead the smartphone AP SOC market with a volume share of 41% in Q2 2022, followed by Qualcomm with 27%. The company’s strategy of 5G, Wi-Fi 6, focused product migration, geographic expansion with global customers, and penetration into high-end and flagship segments will allow MediaTek to retain and even improve its strong market position.
  • China slowdown, COVID-19 lockdowns and macroeconomic conditions will affect the global smartphone market. MediaTek guides flat growth for the smartphone market in 2022 and 5G penetration (660-680 million units) reaching 50%. Further, 5G penetration is expected to reach 70% in the next two years.
  • Smartphone OEMs like OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi currently have inventories with distributors and also for components like AP/SOCs, PMICs and DDICs. This has led to a drop in AP/SOC orders for MediaTek for H2 2022. But MediaTek is keeping a high inventory reserve this quarter to sustain its OEM and ODM partners during the worsening COVID-19 situation. MediaTek normally runs with around 90 days of inventory. But it has now raised this to around 100 days to manage potential supply constraints.
  • MediaTek sought to reassure investors that it would not follow a low pricing strategy to counter slowing demand. Instead, it will invest in future growth. Its pricing strategy will also leverage its high capacity and will manage profitability by maintaining similar pricing as the previous quarter. We expect overall 5G AP/SOC ASPs to be flat compared to last year. If the competition reduces the prices, it will be challenging for MediaTek to maintain growth in H2 2022. Due to the strong demand for LTE AP/SOCs, the ASPs will not decline this year. Overall, 5G AP/SOCs will have a premium pricing over LTE. The company is now focusing on developing 5G AP/SOCs for low-end phones priced less than $150. We believe this will happen two years down the line. However, based on our estimates, LTE is going to dominate the less than $100 smartphones, driven by regions like LATAM, Africa and APAC.
  • Presently, MediaTek is not a big player in the PC business, having only a few Chromebook-type devices in the market. The company played down its expectations for substantial growth in the PC sector while confirming that it was interested in the potential of the Arm-based PC market.
  • Smartphones still contribute 53% of the revenues for MediaTek. For longer-term growth, MediaTek has to reduce dependence on smartphones and expand into areas like the smart edge, automotive, connected PCs and AR/VR.

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Global PC Shipments Down 4.3% YoY in Q1 2022; Component Shortages Likely to Ease in H2

Taipei, London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Seoul – April 28, 2022

Global PC shipments fell 4.3% YoY in Q1 2022 to reach 78.7 million units, according to Counterpoint Research Global PC tracker. Entering 2022, the PC supply chain experienced easing component shortages and logistics issues compared to the second half of 2021. Order backlog from 2021 continued to contribute substantially to PC shipments in the beginning of 2022. This supports our previous view of another PC shipment plateau in 2022.

Our checks suggest the PC supply chain turned relatively conservative on shipment outlook in the middle of Q1 2022, largely dragged by global inflation and regional conflict, which brought uncertainties to PC demand and blurred the overall PC shipment momentum ahead. The overall PC shipments in 2022 are expected to be shy of our forecasts made at the end of 2021.

In addition, COVID-19 lockdowns in China, especially in Shanghai and Kunshan, where many laptop manufacturing lines are located, will cause shipment correction in April. Compared to OEMs, ODMs currently face more issues related to manufacturing resource allocation than component shortage impacts.

Global PC Shipments by Vendor, Q1 2022

Counterpoint Research - Q1 global PC shipments ranking

Lenovo maintained its lead in the global PC market in Q1 2022 with a 23.1% share, which was down a little compared to 2021. The brand’s total shipments of 18.2 million units were down 9.5% YoY. Lenovo performed well during the pandemic largely due to its in-house manufacturing and operation control. This advantage will continue to help the company in times of demand uncertainty or component supply issues.

HP took a 20.2% share to capture the second spot. The company saw a 16% YoY decline in shipments largely due to Chromebook losing momentum and consumer demand weakness.

Dell, on the other hand, posted a slight increase in its shipments in the first quarter of 2022, riding on the commercial/premium product strategy tailwinds. Dell’s market share expanded by around 100 bps in Q1 2022.

Apple continued its success with the M1 MacBook series to see 8% YoY shipment growth in Q1 2022, which boosted its market share by 100 bps YoY. Asus saw 4% YoY shipment growth thanks to its gaming and commercial products expansion. Acer continued to struggle due to Chromebook sales losing momentum and ended the quarter with a 1% shipment decline. Asus and Acer both had ~7% market share in the quarter.

Component shortages likely to ease in H2 2022

In the past two years, the PC supply chain has spent much effort dealing with demand uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and component shortages. But since late 2021, demand-supply gaps have been narrowing, signaling an approaching end to supply tightness across the broader ecosystem. Among all PCs and laptops, the supply gap for the most important components such as power management ICs, Wi-Fi and I/O interface IC has narrowed. We have seen OEMs and ODMs continuing to accumulate component inventory to cope with uncertainties arising from COVID-19. Combined with the abovementioned consumer and Chromebook demand weakness, we believe component shortages are going to ease in H2 2022.

PC Component Shortage Outlook for 2022

Countertpoint Research - PC component outlook for 2022

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India Tablet Shipments Grew 28% YoY in 2021

India’s tablet market shipments grew 28% YoY in 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s India Tablet Shipment by Model Tracker. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the way we work and study by increasing the significance of digital tools. This paradigm shift has translated into the tablet emerging as one of the preferred computing devices for video communication, content consumption and creation, and running productivity applications. Furthermore, government tenders for procuring tablets have helped revive demand for this segment which was squeezed between large-size smartphones and PCs.Tablet OEMs' Shipment Market Share in India, 2021

Lenovo dominated the tablet market in 2021 due to its focus on the lower middle segment (INR 10,000-INR 20,000), which constitutes more than half of the tablet market in India. Another key driver which helped Lenovo maintain its leadership was its wider distribution network in the country.

Samsung captured the second spot while Apple took the third position with 25% and 16% market shares respectively. The market is quite consolidated as the top three players have more than four-fifths of the total market in India.

We expect more players to enter this market to utilize the untapped potential of this segment. More established smartphone brands are entering this segment by leveraging their existing distribution channels, scale and marketing muscle. realme managed to capture a 4% share soon after entering this segment. Xiaomi is about to re-enter the segment by launching its first tablet in the INR 20,000-INR 30,000 price band. The device will compete against Samsung’s A-series and Lenovo’s M series, which are quite popular in the market. Other Chinese smartphone brands like OPPO, vivo and OnePlus are all geared up to enter this market soon. Because of this, we expect the share of Chinese brands to increase soon. They will focus on maintaining their market position as they have in the mobile handset market. The entry of new players will open more choices for consumers in different price bands.

Market Summary:

  • Lenovo dominated the tablet market in 2021 by capturing a 42% share. Its growth was driven by the strong performance of the M8 and M10 in the INR 10,000-INR 20,000 price band.
  • Samsung also did well in 2021 and took the second position with a 25% market share. It has a wide portfolio of tablets, from the mid-segment to premium ones, to cater to the diverse needs of customers.
  • Apple captured the third position in the tablet market with a 16% share. iPad drove most of the volume for the brand.
  • Lava managed to be in the top five brands with budget-friendly tablets in a price-sensitive market.
  • realme forayed into the market in September with its realme pad model, capturing a 4% share.
  • The INR 10,000-INR 20,000 price band is the most popular price band as it covers more than half of the total tablet market, with a major contribution from brands like Lenovo, Samsung and Lava.
  • Most of the tablets consumed in India are imported. But with the government’s stance on ‘Make in India’, the share of domestic manufacturing will increase in the coming period from its current share of 20%. This will enable competitive pricing in the market and make the device more affordable for the consumer.

We expect the Indian tablet market to reach around 5 million units in 2022 as the market is still underpenetrated. The entry of smartphone brands will increase product options for the Indian consumer at different price points. The increase in domestic manufacturing will also provide the necessary boost to this segment.

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CES 2022: Chip Biggies See Loads of Action

Against the backdrop of COVID-19 and component shortages, the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kept its date with announcements and launches in the processor ecosystem. We saw multiple releases and announcements from AMD, Intel and NVIDIA for both CPUs and GPUs. Trends that stood out included:

  • Focus on mobile processors — enabling AAA 1080p gaming in mobile/ultra-mobile form factors.
  • Focus on device security by building hardware protocols.
  • Focus on software and hardware offerings that accelerate performance.

AMD: Mobile processors with integrated security, budget GPU

CPU launches

Notebook segment: AMD launched a new series of its Radeon RX 6000 mobile processors that are built on TSMC’s 6nm and have Zen 3+ as core architecture, RDNA2 graphic architecture with LPDDR5, DDR5, Wi-Fi 6E and USB 4.0 support. The processors achieve a clock speed of up to 5GHz, which AMD claims gives up to 69% faster video editing, 125% faster 3D rendering performance and double the 1080p gaming performance when compared to the Ryzen 5000 series. Additionally, these processors are the first ones to integrate Microsoft Pluton Security Processor that helps in eliminating attack vectors and protecting critical data.

AMD also introduced new power management features and an adaptive power control framework to improve the power efficiency of the new processors, promising up to 24-hour battery life, 30% less power consumption during a video conference and 15% less while web browsing.

Desktop segment: AMD launched the Ryzen 7 5800X3D featuring AMD 3D V-Cache technology, claiming it to be the fastest desktop gaming processor. It also teased Ryzen 7000 Series processors, the next-generation “Zen 4” core-based processors built on the 5nm process, to be released later in 2022. These processors promise to be the next big thing in AMD’s kitty since 2017 as they carry major architectural changes, like a pivot to LGA (land grid array) as compared to BGA (Ball Grid array), 5 GHz clock rate for all cores and PCIe 5 support.

GPU launches

Notebook segment: AMD launched a new series of discrete GPUs, Radeon RX 6000S, for the notebook and ultra-slim form factors. The series is purported to achieve up to 100 fps (frames per second) for the ultra-thin mobile gaming segment. AMD also expanded the Radeon RX 6000M series for its extreme gaming laptop to offer entry-level and mid-range options.

Desktop segment: For the GPU category, AMD launched its budget-friendly GPU RX 6500 XT at $199 with a 2.6 GHz game clock and 16MB infinity cache. It also launched the RX 6400 graphic card to bring 1080p gaming to the mainstream market. This can be considered as AMD’s effort to establish a stronghold in the GPU category and its acceptance of FSR technology (AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution).

Software announcements

AMD Software Adrenalin Edition will be upgrading its platform to enable low-latency and high-fidelity gaming. To be released in spring 2022, the upgrade includes AMD’s Radeon Super Resolution (RSR), a spatial upscaling technology to enhance gaming experiences at native resolutions. Additionally, it will feature AMD Link 5.0, an application that allows users to play their PC games on a phone, tablet, or Windows PC from virtually anywhere.

Intel: 20+ new mobile processors, 50 processors in total including discrete GPU

COunterpoint Research Intel 12th Gen Mobile Processors
(Credit: Intel Corporation)
CPU launches

Notebook segment: Intel released 22 new 12th generation processors, including a new P series of ultra-portable mobile processors. These bring dedicated levels of performance, earlier available in desktops and extreme gaming laptops, to thin-and-light laptops. Developed on the big.LITTLE architecture with both performance and efficiency cores, this single, scalable SoC architecture is built on Intel 7 process and supports DDR5, LPDDR 5, Wi-fi 6E and USB 4.0. The P series works as an intermediate offering between the H series of laptops, aimed at extreme workloads, and the U series, aimed at the ultra-portable segment. According to Intel, the H-series processors are the fastest mobile processors ever, outperforming even the Apple M1 Max in content creation.

The interesting thing about these 12th generation mobile processors is the implementation of the big.LITTLE architecture ARM style, as seen in the Alder Lake Desktop CPUs last year. The major upgrade comes due to the number of cores Intel is offering for the CPUs. The H and P series have 14 cores in total, whereas the U series has 10 cores, compared to 8 in the H series and 4 cores in the U series in the 11th generation.

Desktop segment: Intel launched 22 new processors (both in 65W and 35W), unveiling the complete range of 12th generation CPU processors that have clock rates up to 5.1 GHz and support DDR5 memory. Besides, it launched a new cooling system, Intel® Laminar Coolers, which accompany the new 65W processors.

GPU launches

Billed as its comeback in the discrete GPU market, Intel announced shipments of Intel Arc graphics (codenamed Alchemist) with 50 new mobile and desktop customer design wins. Intel Arc graphics offers industry-leading advanced features such as hardware-accelerated ray tracing, Xe Super Sampling (XeSS), AI-driven upscaling technology and Intel Deep Link technology. The Intel technologies help in intelligently routing power between CPU and GPU processing engines to boost performance by distributing workloads across multiple engines. This does not represent the introduction of any new technology but Intel’s ace execution of a strategy to gain market share.

Automotive launches

Intel Mobileye announced a new system-on-chip (SoC) that is purpose-built for autonomous vehicles (AVs). The EyeQ Ultra is built on Mobileye’s industry-leading EyeQ technology and brings the work of 10 EyeQ5 SoCs in a single package [176 tera operations per second (TOPS)] to deliver the technology required for a fully self-driving vehicle. The interesting thing is that it is fabbed on 5nm and is built on RISC-V cores.

Mobileye also announced a collaboration with Geely’s Zeekr brand to launch the industry’s first Level 4 consumer AV, expected to begin production in 2024. It also announced the launch and shipment to customers of the industry’s first fully capable Level 2+ vehicle equipped with a 360-degree surround-view sensing system and driving policy for the industry’s most advanced longitudinal and lateral control.

Software announcements

Intel announced the launch of its 3rd generation Intel Evo platform that meets the specifications and key experience indicators set by Intel’s Project Athena Innovation Program. The platform enables better responsiveness, battery life, instant wake function, fast charge, and intelligent collaboration. The intelligent collaboration aims to deliver enhanced experience through video-conferencing apps by leveraging AI-based background noise cancellation, integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+), Intel® Connectivity Performance Suite6, and optional AI-accelerated camera imaging effects.

Intel vPro platform

Intel announced an upgrade to its vPro platform that provides hardware-based security options to consumers with two variants – Enterprise and Essential – to cater to all businesses.

NVIDIA: New GPU cards for laptops, adoption of Drive Hyperion platform

GPU launches

Notebook segment: NVIDIA launched new GPU cards GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti for laptops for the first time. Aimed as extreme and mid-level performance variants, these GPUs feature 16GB GDDR6, which is a first for laptops, and promise to deliver higher performance than the desktop TITAN RTX. NVIDIA claims that these perform average seven times faster than the latest MacBook Pro 16 M1 Max in 3D renders.

NVIDIA also launched a budget GPU – RTX 3050 ($249), which allows consumers to play ray-traced games on a 50-class GPU at over 60 fps for 1080p gaming. This GPU is a bit above AMD’s 6500XT, which is more comparable to its GTX 1650. NVIDIA also teased its RTX 3090 Ti discrete graphic card, the most powerful discrete desktop graphic card till now.

Software announcement

NVIDIA announced the adoption of its Drive Hyperion platform that has 12 state-of-the-art surround cameras, 12 ultrasonics, 9 radars, 3 interior sensing cameras and 1 front-facing lidar. NVIDIA Drive Hyperion is computer architecture and sensor set for autonomous vehicles that are open to all. NVIDIA announced Desay, Flex, Quanta, Valeo and ZF as its platform scaling partners and Polestar, IM Motors, Li Auto, NIO, R Auto and Xpeng as the companies adopting the platform.

NVIDIA Studio: NVIDIA Studio, a platform for creators, has expanded its support for NVIDIA Omniverse to enable real-time simulation of complex 3D workflows.

Analyst takeaways

This year’s launches from chip companies focused on:

  • Introducing chips in an ultra-mobile notebook form factor that can offer desktop-level performances with the least compromise on battery life.
  • Product offerings spanning the whole spectrum from entry-level and mid-level to extreme performance focusing primarily on mobile/ultra-mobile form factors.
  • Making GPU affordable and consequently 1080p gaming.
  • Comprehensive software suites and upgrades to extract maximum efficiency from the hardware while harmonizing with the OS to enhance user experience and collaboration across apps.
  • A sneak peek into the wonders of the omniverse and, more importantly, how to ‘use’ it.

This year will continue to raise the bar as we await the release of next-generation CPUs and GPUs in the second half. The companies’ enthusiasm towards making technology accessible in all form factors and budgets opens the door to mainstream adoption of the fundamentals of the omniverse.

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Global PC Shipments up 3.1% YoY in Q4 2021; Component Supply Improving

London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – January 20, 2022

Global PC shipments reached 90.3 million in Q4 2021 to maintain their YoY growth momentum at 3.1%, coming on a relatively high base in 2020. The situation on the component supply and logistic fronts continued to improve but at a slow pace. The shipment forecast for Q1 2022 remains optimistic, mainly due to a solid demand and improving component supply. OEMs and ODMs are also expecting some easing of pressure on PC components.

In Q4 2021, the supply gap for the most important PC components, such as power management IC, Wi-Fi and I/O interface IC, narrowed. We believe both OEMs and ODMs will continue to accumulate component inventory to cope with uncertainties cropping from COVID-19. Therefore, we do not see any big risk to PC shipment numbers due to supply backlogs.

Global PC Shipments by Vendor, Q4 2021


Counterpoint Research - Q4 global PC ranking

Lenovo continued to lead the global PC market in Q4 2021 with a 24% share, slightly shy of its share in Q4 2020 but still having its highest unit sales in 2021 at 21.7 million. HP took a 20.5% share with 1% YoY growth driven by the easing of component shortage. Dell posted a 15% YoY growth in the quarter riding on the strong momentum from its commercial/premium product strategy. Apple’s shipments in Q4 2021 remained largely unchanged thanks to the M1 Macbook’s success. On the other hand, Asus saw a single-digit YoY growth in Q4, while Acer saw a single-digit YoY decline with market shares of 6.8% and 6.7%, respectively.

Counterpoint Research - Q4 global PC market share


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contact:

William Li

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Global PC Shipments Grow for Sixth Consecutive Quarter; Chromebook in Slow Lane

London, Hong Kong, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – October 18, 2021

Global PC shipments marked their sixth consecutive YoY growth in Q3 2021 at 84.2 million units. This came despite the ongoing component shortages and other supply constraints. However, the 9.3% YoY growth during the quarter implied decelerating PC shipment momentum after four consecutive quarters of double-digit YoY growth since Q3 2020. In addition, most OEMs and ODMs are not seeing any shrinking gap between orders (demand) and shipments (supply).

In Q3 2021, the global PC supply chain remained constrained due to component shortages related to power management IC, radio frequency, audio codec and others. We believe there is no solution to this demand-supply mismatch till mid-2022. ODMs are still pulling in chips inventory to tackle any downside risks. Besides, unstable global logistics and manufacturing site shutdowns in Southeast Asia and China add more uncertainties to PC supplies.

PC demand remained solid during the quarter. Commercial PC demand is gradually heating up while consumer PC momentum is decelerating. Chromebook turned out to be the biggest drag during the quarter, as both government and education orders were largely fulfilled in the first half, in addition to the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and reopening of offices and schools across the world. We believe Chromebook demand will not disappear, just take a break this year.

 Global PC Shipments by Vendor, Q3 2021

Counterpoint Research - Global Q3 2021 brand shipment numbers and YoY growth

Lenovo was in first place again in the third quarter with a 23.9% market share after shipping 20.1 million units, slightly above the Q2 number mainly due to its operational flexibility. HP’s 20.5% share and 6% YoY decline were largely due to Chromebook slowdown as well as component shortages. Dell had a 30% YoY growth in the third quarter due to a relatively lower base and its commercial/premium product focus. Apple’s shipments grew 11% YoY in Q3 2021 riding on the replacement demand for the M1 Mac. Asus shipments were boosted by both consumer and commercial segments. The brand took fifth place in Q3 beating Acer, which recorded a 3% YoY growth due to Chromebook slowdown.
Counterpoint Research - Global Q3 2021 brand shipment share mix


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

William Li

Follow Counterpoint Research

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