After a decade of falling sales, the Covid pandemic has seen traditional PC sales reach the highest level in that time.
IDC reports total worldwide PC shipments reached 349 million in 2021. That’s up almost 15 percent on shipments in 2020. Reports from rival analyst companies Gartner and Canalys confirm double digit sales growth for the year.
It is the highest demand for traditional PCs since 2012.
The Wall Street Journal reports that even the desktop computer is making a comeback.
People who work from home want bigger screens and more powerful systems.
Apple silicon project pays off
Apple had a strong year thanks to pent-up demand for new M1 MacBooks. Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models flew out the door.
In the quarter the updated iMac went on sale, orders jumped 23 percent.
The company’s market share hit 8.2 percent, the highest in a long time.
Dell and Asus both had strong years relative to the broader market. Dell saw shipments grow almost 9 percent while Asus was up 12.5 percent. Market leaders Lenovo and HP slipped a fraction as rivals caught up.
Return to form for traditional PC
Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers says: “2021 has truly been a return to form for the PC. Consumer need for PCs in emerging markets and global commercial demand remained strong during the quarter with supply being a gating factor.
“While consumer and educational demand has tapered in some developed markets, we continue to believe the overall PC market has reset at a much higher level than before the pandemic.”
This reset has brought a fresh set of problems for the industry: dealing with the logistic challenge of meeting demand while there are bottlenecks and supply shortages. Gartner saw this as a hiccup in the third quarter.
Could have been better
IDC’s Tom Mainelli says the market could have been even larger in 2021 without those issues.
He says: “We closed the year with many buyers still waiting for their PC orders to ship. As we move through the first half of the year, we expect supply to remain constrained, especially … the commercial segment where demand is the most robust.”