PCs flew off the cabinets throughout 2021 — and with out the continuing constraints within the provide chain, individuals would have bought much more.
In keeping with studies launched by Gartner and IDC, 2021 continued the surprising surge in demand for PCs and Chromebooks. In keeping with Gartner, PC shipments surged 9.9 % in 2021 to 339.8 million models. IDC reported even sharper development: 14.8 %, as much as 348.8 million models. (IDC is a division of IDG, the corporate that owns PCWorld, however has no editorial affiliation with us.)
The 2 analyst teams sometimes differ barely in how they accumulate their knowledge. Gartner tracks desktops, notebooks, ultramobiles just like the Microsoft Floor, and Chromebooks; IDC tracks desktops, notebooks, and workstations, however not tablets in its year-end studies. Nonetheless, each companies had the identical conclusion: Gross sales have been improbable, and will have been even higher if elements and completed PCs may have been moved extra effectively.
“2021 has actually been a return to kind for the PC,” mentioned Jitesh Ubrani, analysis supervisor for IDC’s Cellular and Shopper Machine Trackers, in a press release. “Shopper want for PCs in rising markets and international business demand remained sturdy in the course of the quarter with provide being a gating issue. Whereas client and academic demand has tapered in some developed markets, we proceed to imagine the general PC market has reset at a a lot greater stage than earlier than the pandemic.”
IDC and Gartner reported that Lenovo, HP, and Dell maintained their place on the high of the PC market, each worldwide and in the USA. All three confirmed development.
Gartner / IDC
Within the fourth quarter, historically the 12 months’s strongest interval, the 2 companies discovered that the availability chain constraints held again gross sales that may in any other case have gone to the PC business. “A difficult logistical setting, coupled with ongoing supply-side shortages, meant that the PC market may have been even bigger than it was in 2021,” Tom Mainelli, group vice chairman of IDC’s Machine and Shopper Analysis, mentioned in a press release. “We closed the 12 months with many patrons nonetheless ready for his or her PC orders to ship. As we transfer by way of the primary half of the 12 months, we anticipate provide to stay constrained, particularly as regards to the business section the place demand is essentially the most sturdy.”
Gartner / IDC
Gartner agreed, noting that the fourth quarter confirmed a double-digit decline in gross sales from the fourth quarter of 2020, when PC gross sales actually took off. Chromebook shipments fell, too, as patrons had already snapped them up earlier within the 12 months. Gartner mentioned that it expects PC demand to gradual for at the very least the subsequent two years, although annual cargo volumes should not anticipated to say no to pre-pandemic ranges in that interval.
“The pandemic considerably modified enterprise and client PC consumer conduct, as individuals needed to undertake to new methods of working and dwelling,” mentioned Mikako Kitagawa, a analysis director at Gartner. “Submit-pandemic, among the newly established methods of utilizing PCs will stay common apply, equivalent to distant or hybrid workstyles, taking on-line programs and speaking with family and friends on-line.”
As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft information and chip expertise, amongst different beats. He has previously written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.