Global PC sales continue to grow as more people work and study from home. Gartner’s latest research shows the market has begun the year on a strong footing, with shipments up by 32% in the first three months of 2021 from the same period last year.
People are still buying PCs, and in large numbers, adding to the continued PC boom that set in the follow-up months rebounding the market after a slump in Q1, 2020. The strong rebound after weak Q1, 2020 sales lead to record year-over-year growth, the highest the firm has seen since it started monitoring the market in 2000.
Gartner says the total sales are at their highest point since Q1 2015 when the market shipped 71.7 million units.
During the recently concluded quarter, PC sales totaled 69.9 million units. But the impressive performance isn’t entirely dependent on the demand.
Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa says it is also a resultant of two major unique factors in play – the global semiconductor shortage and pandemic-constrained market.
“Without the shipment chaos in early 2020, this quarter’s growth may have been lower,” Kitagawa said.
Simultaneously, the global semiconductor shortage, which is ravishing various industries, has a role in the sales figures. Gartner says supply chains are strained, which has led some PC makers to push back their launch timelines by months.
Another thing to consider is Gartner doesn’t include Chromebooks, the inexpensive laptops running Google’s Chrome OS and loved by educational institutions, in its traditional PC market results.
Including Chromebooks, the research firm estimates that the PC market grew 47% year-over-year. Chromebook sales experienced triple-digit growth in the period, driven by massive demand from North American educational institutions.
Gartner estimates that the PC market could continue to grow undeterred by the ongoing chip supply shortage and the potential opening of economies.
Other estimates from Canalys and IDC also show strong PC demand. Canalys and IDC estimate the PC market grew by 55% in the quarter.
Top PC vendors Worldwide.
The ranking of PC vendors stays the same, with Lenovo at the top, followed by HP, DELL, Apple, Acer, and ASUS. The top six PC vendors registered double-digit growth.