PC Sales Notch Strongest Growth in a Decade
By Maria Armental
Personal computer sales last year registered their strongest
growth in a decade, underscoring a shift to computers from mobile
devices during the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry
"Demand is pushing the PC market forward and all signs indicate
this surge still has a way to go," Ryan Reith, program vice
president with International Data Corp.'s Worldwide Mobile Device
Trackers, said in a statement.
Overall, IDC counted 302.6 million units sold last year, up 13%
from the previous year. Research firm Gartner said PC shipments
reached 275 million units in 2020, up 4.8% on the year. Similarly,
Canalys pegged the increase at 11% to 297 million units, the
highest annual growth since 2010 and the highest shipment volume
Much of the difference in the tallies from the data providers
comes from how each company defines PCs. Hardware makers in recent
years have increasingly blurred the lines between personal
computers and devices such as tablets.
The blockbuster figures come out just as CES, the world's
largest tech show, gets under way -- virtually this year because of
the pandemic. The annual gathering is often the staging ground for
PC makers to unveil their latest models, which could help drive
The latest results showed strong sales in the fourth quarter,
typically a strong period because of holiday sales. The pandemic
added to demand as school districts, company employees and families
sought to buy PCs.
IDC said fourth-quarter sales rose 26% to 91.6 million units;
Gartner said sales rose nearly 11% to 79.4 million units; and
Canalys pegged growth at 25% to 90.3 million units.
Mr. Reith said that while growth in 2020 centered on
work-from-home and remote-learning needs, gaming PCs and monitor
sales remain at record levels. He also said Chrome-based devices
are expanding beyond education into the consumer market.
Chromebook shipments reached 11.7 million units in the fourth
quarter alone, according to preliminary data from Gartner. For the
year, the firm said Chromebook shipments increased by more than 80%
to nearly 30 million units, driven by the North American education
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.
The high demand, however, continues to result in shortages.
IDC's Jitesh Ubrani said in some cases vendors were forced to
resort to airfreight, which drove up costs to cut delivery
Lenovo Group Ltd. was ranked as the No. 1 vendor in 2020,
followed by HP Inc., according to industry data. Dell Technologies
Inc., Apple Inc., and Acer Inc. rounded out the top five.
Write to Maria Armental at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 11, 2021 18:32 ET (23:32 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.