Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home and shelter-in-place orders have driven Personal Computer (PC) sales to the highest rate in a decade.

IDC, a PC company, said global shipments of PCs in 2020 reached 302.6 million devices, a 13 percent increase from 2019. The jump was the largest annual gain since 2010, with the volume being the largest since 2014, which was notable since six of the past ten years saw declines. Gartner Research also showed a boost in PC shipments, with steady growth that was the highest measured since 2010.

Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s mobile device tracking team, said, “A lot of volume early in the year was because companies had people working at home. Enterprises purchased large numbers of laptops to equip those suddenly-remote workers; the sales volume at time sufficient to completely throttle the component supply chain.”

With many school districts focusing on remote learning, many tried to equip students with PCs (low-cost laptops), to learn adequately. Families with school-aged children also added PCs to households when districts could not afford to cover costs for every child.

Gaming PCs also proved useful during the pandemic, when people were hunkered down at home for long periods of lockdowns and quarantine. Entertainment-wise, families needed distractions, and games became an easy target. Those interested in playing games on old PCs were in for a surprise, as many didn’t make the cut for gaming, crafts, or other projects. Therefore, those consumers were forced to purchase new devices, which also helped drive sales.

Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo reported the highest PC shipment numbers for 2020, according to IDC. The highest year-over-year growth rate went to Apple, coming in at roughly 22.8 million. Chromebook, Google’s laptop powered by a Chrome-based operating system, also surged in 2020. Shipments grew by more than 80 percent, totaling approximately 30 million.

Ryan Reith of IDC, leader of the firm’s mobile device tracking group, said, “Demand is pushing the PC market forward and all signs indicate this surge still has a way to go. In retrospect, the pandemic not only fueled the PC market demand but also created opportunities that resulted in a market expansion.”

Consumer shipments are projected to increase through 2024. “We’ll see a lot of demand in 2021 because some of that went unfulfilled in 2020. Those orders slipped from the end of 2020 into early 2021,” Ubrani said.

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

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