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Unfulfilled PC demand sees shipments surge

Unfulfilled PC demand sees shipments surge

Quarter-on-quarter decline for Q1 was also the smallest since 2012.

Credit: XPS (Unsplash)

The global traditional PC market shot up 55.2 per cent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2021, with unfulfilled demand from last year driving the surge.

Consisting of desktops, notebooks and workstations -- and excluding tablets and x86 servers -- this saw the market reach 84 million shipments worldwide which, while up for the year, was down by 8 per cent from the fourth quarter. 

This is according to preliminary quarterly results from analyst firm IDC, which claimed that while first quarters are typically down after the preceding fourth quarter, this was the smallest first quarter decline for the market since 2012, which recorded a sequential decline of 7.5 per cent. 

This surge comes from unfulfilled demand from the past year, as well as furthered demand brought on by the ongoing pandemic, according to Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers 

"However, the market continues to struggle with setbacks including component shortages and logistics issues, each of which has contributed to an increase in average selling prices," he said. 

In addition, the growth in the gaming sector, as well as demand for higher performance notebooks for enterprise and touchscreens in the education sector is also contributing to the PC market’s recent success.

Out of the top five vendors, Lenovo topped the charts with 20.4 million units shipped for the quarter, seeing year-on-year growth of 59.1 per cent and a market share of 24.3 per cent. Although it came in fourth with 6.7 million units shipped and 8 per cent market share, Apple was a standout for year-on-year growth with 111.5 per cent.

While the ongoing component shortage is holding vendors back from refilling inventory and fulfilling orders now, the PC market’s prospects from the immediate short-term are looking better than what was previously expected. 

This comes from Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, who noted that “a fundamental shift” has taken place in the market, which is expected to result in a positive outlook for the next few years to come. 

“All three segments – business, education, and consumer – are experiencing demand that we didn't expect to happen regardless of many countries beginning their ‘opening up’ process,” he said. “Component shortages will likely be a topic of conversation for the majority of 2021, but the more important question should be what PC demand will look like in 2-3 years." 


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