Personal computers had a big year last year, with sales showing their strongest growth in a decade, WSJ reports.
Why It Matters: The shift back to PCs from mobile devices indicates that the Covid-19 pandemic — staying home with restrictions — has altered consumption habits once again. With every aspect of life going remote, PCs became a functional pick for school districts, company employees and families. How the trend plays out in the long term, when restrictions ease, remains to be seen. But in the short term, it’s a boon to the industry.
“The pandemic reversed a yearslong ‘phone-first focus,’ Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. Ms. Kitagawa sees the PC momentum carrying through at least the first half of 2021.”
Numbers To Consider:
- International Data Corp. reported 30.2 million units sold worldwide last year, a 13% increase from the previous year.
- Gartner had PC shipments at 275 million units in 2020, a 4.8% increase, while Canalys put it at 297 million units, with an 11% uptick.
- IDC said Q4 sales improved by 26% to 91.6 million units.m while Garder had 79.4 million units (+11%) and Canalys 90.3 million units (25%).
High demand has resulted in shortages, though. And IDC’s Jitesh Ubrani said in some cases “vendors were forced to resort to airfreight, which drove up costs to cut delivery times.”
Top Five PC Vendors in 2020:
- Dell Technologies
What’s Next: The impressive figures come as CES, the “world’s largest tech show,” kicks off. It generally features PC makers unveiling their latest products.