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Gartner: PC shipments flat in third quarter of 2021

Gartner says 84.1 million PC were shipped in the third quarter of 2021. That’s up one percent on the same period a year earlier. Which doesn’t sound much, but last year saw the most buoyant PC activity in almost a decade.

There was a shortage of suitable laptop chips during the quarter which acted as a brake on sales. Business desktop PC sales were strong.

Chromebook sales fell 17 percent in the quarter – the biggest drop Chromebooks have seen to date.

“As many schools worldwide reopened, there was no longer an immediate need for PCs and Chromebooks to support at-home education”.

Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner research Director

Gartner now counts Chromebooks in its PC shipments.

Lenovo remains the top selling PC brand. The company’s shipments grew slightly faster than the market at 1.8 percent, but ended a run of five quarters of double digit growth. Lenovo suffered from component shortages.

HP shipments fell 5.8 percent. Poor US demand for Chromebooks was partly behind this. It too faces supply chain issues.

Dell saw strong growth. Gartner puts this down to the company being stronger in business PCs than in consumer models. This was were there was more demand.

Apple grew 7.4 percent. Gartner says the company’s M1 based models have been well received by the market. It says an expected product refresh – which will be announced next week – means some Apple customers put purchases on hold.

Worldwide PC vendor unit shipment estimates for 3Q21 (thousands of units)

Company


3Q21 Shipments


3Q21 Market Share (%)


3Q20 Shipments


3Q20 Market Share (%)


3Q21-3Q20 Growth (%)


Lenovo


19,945


23.7


19,601


23.5


1.8


HP Inc.


17,624


20.9


18,718


22.5


-5.8


Dell


15,242


18.1


12,048


14.5


26.5


Apple


7,222


8.6


6,725


8.1


7.4


Acer Group


6,036


7.2


6,327


7.6


-4.6


ASUS


6,028


7.2


5,714


6.9


5.5


Others


 12,049


14.3


14,153


17.0


-14.9


Total


84,147


100.0


83,286


100.0


1.0


Source: Gartner (October 2021)

Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 11. Gartner says this will have limited impact on business sales as large buyers tend to be conservative with software upgrades. The research company forecasts a weak fourth quarter with demand driven more by replacements than new buyers.

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