In 2021, 143.6 million PC monitors were shipped globally, marking it as the best performing year since 2012, when volume was 150.3 million. The market exceeded expectations and ended 2021 with a 5.0% year-over-year growth rate. However, the year was not all rainbows and unicorns, as those figures were achieved despite a challenging second half of the year, including a fourth-quarter decline in which shipments were down 5.2% compared to the same quarter in 2020, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
A weaker second half in 2021 brought down the strong momentum of the first half, which had an impressive year-over-year growth rate of 19.4%. Challenges, though, occurred in the subsequent quarters, as mature regions slowed, IDC stated, though volume buttressed by emerging markets catching up on backlogs, while global commercial volume helped to offset a softer consumer base. As monitor component supplies improved to some degree, persistent challenges from high shipping rates and Asian supply chain lockdowns remained. Those challenges that defined the latter half of the year are expected to play well into 2022 and are expected to lead to a 3.6% year-over-year decline in 2022.
“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 10 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.”
Dell and Lenovo emerged as the only two companies in the top 5 to deliver shipment growth in 4Q21. Although overall commercial shipments declined 2.2% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, the commercial portion of the market proved more resilient as it has throughout the year, showing only modest losses in the second half of 2021 as return-to-office trends continued to gain ground. Consumer-focused vendors suffered even more as the total consumer monitor market shrank more than 8% year-over-year.