PC gross sales had been on a decade-long decline, after which the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. PC gross sales spiked in 2020 because the world adjusted to a brand new actuality, and the numbers from 2021 present the development is continuous. Current stories from Canalys, IDC, and Gartner present double-digit progress final yr, and analysts now imagine the pumped-up PC market will final for not less than just a few extra years no matter what occurs with COVID-19.
The first driver of the PC’s resurgence is undoubtedly the pandemic. Extra individuals than ever are working and attending lessons from residence, and demand for PCs has stored up whilst companies and faculties try to reopen. There was concern amongst analysts that PC progress would fall off a cliff after a giant rise in 2020, however all three stories level to massive numbers. Canalys says PC shipments ballooned by 14.6 % final yr, and IDC is in the identical ballpark with 14.8 %. Gartner is extra conservative than the others, reporting a 9.9 % enhance for 2021.
Regardless of who is true, any of those numbers can be excellent news for PC distributors. 2021 is shaping as much as be the perfect yr for PCs since 2013, which was early within the lengthy, gradual slide. In these days, individuals have been shopping for extra telephones and tablets, and at present shoppers usually tend to maintain the identical cellphone for a number of years. On the similar time, even a robust pill just like the iPad isn’t versatile sufficient to get a whole day’s work performed.
The pandemic additionally boosted Chromebook shipments — they’re typically the most affordable technique to get a succesful laptop computer with a keyboard and trackpad. Nevertheless, Gartner says Chromebook shipments have been falling, In actual fact, the fourth quarter of 2021 had weaker numbers throughout the board in comparison with the remainder of the yr (all three stories picked up on this). Chromebook demand would be the first to drop off as individuals start shifting again to workplaces, a development that can ultimately hit different PCs too. It most likely gained’t be immediately, although. Gartner predicts that it’ll take 2-3 years for PC demand to drop again to pre-pandemic ranges.
The tapering on the finish of 2021 may be due to the continuing chip scarcity. There’s virtually no extra stock, which is sweet for the underside line, however the business is leaving cash on the desk. Analysts notice that chip provide points tamped down progress potential, and that might proceed into 2022.