The need for PCs in the corona pandemic is still not exhausted. In 2021, according to calculations by market researchers, sales rose to their highest level in around a decade. The market was further slowed down by the shortage of chips and other components. Three major IT market researchers who presented their estimates on Thursday night largely came to the same trends – but sometimes to different numbers.
The analysis firms IDC and Canalys saw the market grow by almost 15 percent in 2021 and Gartner by 9.9 percent. Their calculations of the number of personal computers sold ranged from almost 340 million (Gartner) until around 349 million (IDC). The differences are due to the fact that the experts conduct their own research in sales channels – and in some cases also take different device categories into account.
The market researchers agreed on the distribution of the top positions in the ranking of large PC suppliers. They clearly see the Chinese company Lenovo in first place and assume that around every fourth PC sold worldwide came from it last year. HP follows with a little over 20 percent market share ahead of Dell with around 17 percent. Apple with its Macs is in fourth place with a market share of around eight percent – but increased sales more than the competition. Canalys even calculated an increase of a good 28 percent for Apple’s Macs.
PC sales had plummeted with the proliferation of smartphones — as consumers spent more time on their mobile devices and businesses refreshed their computer fleets less often than before. But the corona pandemic changed the situation abruptly. With more working and learning from home, one PC per household was no longer enough. Businesses began replacing desktops with laptops. After that, companies also started updating their desktop computers. The surge in demand is seen as a trigger for the global chip shortage.
IDC analyst Tom Mainelli noted that year-end supply was still being held back by shortages. At Gartner, on the other hand, analyst Mikako Kitagawa already sees the end of the corona boom in the PC market approaching. However, it will take two to three years for sales to drop to pre-pandemic levels, she predicted.