The reports of the PC’s death have been greatly exaggerated. At least, that is according to three separate market research firms which seemed to have agreed that PC sales have seen their largest growth since 2010.
IDC said 302 million PCs were sold last year – a 13.1% year-on-year increase – while Canalys put that number at 297 million (11%) and Gartner list its data as 275 million (4.8%). No matter how you cut it, PC had a phenomenal 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic explains a lot of the story behind the numbers. Accordingly, as Canalys noted, growth in global PC shipments last year was “singlehandedly driven by notebooks and mobile workstations,” while desktop and workstation shipments dropped.
Also, as other reports pointed out, phones aren’t so hot these days. Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa said, “Prior to 2020, consumers had been shifting to a phone-first focus, yet the pandemic reversed this trend. PCs have resurfaced as an essential device as consumers, including younger children, are relying on them for work, school, socialising and be entertained from their homes.”
As for the kings of the hill, all three research firms named Lenovo as last year’s top PC vendor, followed by HP and then Dell. Though more consumer-oriented vendors like Apple and Acer also gained market share.
Canalys Research Director Rushabh Doshi probably sums it up best: “It is going to be extremely difficult to write off the PC as some of us did a few years ago. PCs are here to stay.” As PC enthusiasts, we certainly hope so.