Global tech market analysts Canalys have reported that the worldwide PC market has received its biggest sales boost in 10 years as remote working fuels the ongoing digital transformation.
Highest Full-Year Growth Since 2010
Canalys reported on 11 January that the global PC market ended 2020 on a high with 25 per cent sales growth in Q4 of desktops, notebooks and workstations reaching 90.3 million units, and that total PC shipments in 2020 grew 11 per cent to reach 297.0 million units. Canalys reports that this is the highest full-year growth since 2010 and the highest shipment volume since 2014.
Lenovo tops the Q4 sales market with 23.1 million units and year-on-year growth of 29 per cent, followed by HP in second place with 19.1 million units shipped, Dell in third place with 50.3 million units shipped (up 27 per cent), Apple in fourth place (22.6 million devices shipped) and Acer in fifth place, shipping 20.0 million devices. Canalys reports that just these top 5 vendors accounted for 78.5 per cent of PC shipments in 2020.
Most tech commentators agree that the pandemic has revived what was a declining PC market. Back in November, for example, International Data Corporation (IDC) research indicated that shipments of EMEA traditional PCs (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) would total 82.1 million in 2020, a 12.7 per cent year-on-year growth due to the increased demand caused by the need for people to work at home during the pandemic.
A survey by Studio Graphene in September 2020 showed that the need to quickly shift staff to working from home because of the lockdown appeared to be a driver and an accelerator of digital transformation for businesses. The survey showed that nearly half (46 per cent) of business leaders said that said Covid-19 had driven the most pronounced digital transformation that their businesses had experienced.
Even though the pandemic has caused some supply chain issues, there have been innovations on chipsets and the demand for devices has continued to remain strong into 2021, as it is expected to do for at least the first quarter. Some commentators have noted how the shift by many businesses to an indefinite remote working environment, coupled with factors like the need to educate children at home, look like favouring more mobile than stationary devices, going forward. That said, and as the sales figures show, PCs have been at the heart of a very large global digital transformation and as Rushabh Doshi, Canalys Research Director says, “the PC industry caters to a broader range of customers that bring with them new behaviours and use cases”.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Prior to the pandemic, PC sales were in decline but the need for people to work from home has provided a massive boost to PC sales. As the second peak has been even worse than the first and with more infectious new strains emerging, this shift to remote working has meant that PC businesses and their supply chains have thrived and struggled to meet demand. Many business customers have undergone an accelerated digital transformation, have put technology at the heart of their operations and have made changes to their whole businesses where possible that could see a more permanent shift to a remote workforce using PCs and other devices, thereby ensuring that the curve in PC sales does not dip for some time yet.