The PC market grew 14.8% in 2021, delivery the most important variety of desktops, laptops, and workstations in a single yr since 2012, in accordance with information tracker IDC.
Shipments have been up over 34% from the trade’s low level in 2017, to 349 million items, in accordance with preliminary information supplied by IDC.
It is a noteworthy restoration for a sector that had been written off by tech buyers and operators as a sleepy area in decline as not too long ago as a number of years in the past as smartphones grew to become an important and highest-volume product within the electronics enterprise.
The restoration has been pushed by lockdowns and the rise in distant work and studying through the Covid-19 pandemic, as households bought new laptops and PCs for schoolchildren in digital courses and companies purchased tools for workers working from dwelling.
The restoration additionally occurred in a yr that was marked by short-term shortages in PCs, particularly through the fall, pushed by provide constraints from a world chip scarcity.
Some observers cautioned that the gross sales tempo wouldn’t be sustainable after the pandemic ebbs. In December, for instance, IDC mentioned the market had pulled handed peak pandemic demand and forecast a slowdown in 2022.
However some market individuals stay optimistic that PC gross sales will proceed on their present trajectory.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger mentioned in an October interview that he believes the PC market is on a brand new upward path that’s sustainable. Intel is the main maker of central processors for desktops and laptops with about 80% market share.
“We do assume the PC enterprise is now simply structurally bigger. [It’s a] million-unit-a-day sort of enterprise now,” Gelsinger mentioned.
Dell government Rahul Tikoo echoed that sentiment, saying the pandemic has pushed a everlasting shift in shopping for habits now that everybody wants their very own PC.
“We’re going from one PC per family to 1 PC per individual per family, which is the smartphone mannequin,” mentioned Tikoo, senior vice chairman for Dell’s Shopper Product Group. “I feel PCs are are in the midst of transitioning to that now.”
The six largest PC firms by variety of items shipped in 2021 have been Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, Asus, and Acer, in accordance with IDC.
Microsoft, which sells the Home windows working system used on the overwhelming majority of PCs, is one other main beneficiary of the PC increase.
Though the software program large has shifted its focus to cloud companies like Azure in recent times, Home windows remains to be a large enterprise, producing $5.68 billion in gross sales within the third quarter, a rise of 10% from the year-earlier interval.