04 Mar 2021

IDC Expects Continued Recovery of European ICT Spending in 2021, Driven by Growing Demand for Personal Computing Devices

Prague, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — According to the February update of the Worldwide Black Book Live Edition published by International Data Corporation (IDC), European ICT spending is expected to see a slight recovery in 2021, growing by 2.0% in constant currency terms and reaching 944.33 billion, due to increased demand in markets like personal computer devices and mobile phones. In contrast, in 2020 spending growth was 0.4% year on year.

In the newly updated Black Book Live version, IDC projects the European software market to grow this year by 4.2%, while services (business and IT services combined) will increase by 1.3% over 2020.

Despite the unfavorable macroeconomic environment, hardware and software are among the technology segments that are expected to continue developing positively in 2021. Ongoing digitalization and the need to establish a hybrid workplace are favoring personal devices and mobile phone markets, in particular.

The expectations for European PC and tablet markets improved, resulting in 18.7% annual growth for 2020 — a positive trend that should continue in 2021, with spending growth reaching 12.4% year on year. "Undoubtedly, the increased demand for personal computing devices that we saw in the last quarter of 2020 will continue in 2021," says Lubomir Dimitrov, senior research analyst for IDC Customer Insights & Analysis. "The question is, will this increased demand be sustainable in the second half of this year, and what will drive demand?"

The European consumer market for PCs and tablets is forecast to maintain its impressive trajectory, with strong growth especially in the first half of 2021, reaching 16.9 million PC and 11.4 million tablet shipments. “The change in consumer demand from one device per household to one device per person continues to fuel the notebook and tablet markets,” says Malini Paul, research manager with IDC Europe. Demand for these devices is also expected to benefit from ongoing large education tenders, which should see completion during the year, as well as from the continued need to support remote working across all other commercial sectors. The extended lockdowns across Europe are still necessitating mobile working solutions, which drives demand for PCs, tablets, and mobile phones in the commercial segment, which is compounded by the sustained desire among consumers for gaming and entertainment. This will lead to strong growth despite market constraints caused by supply chain difficulties.

In terms of mobile phone spending in Europe, 2020 results were less positive than expected in previous versions of Black Book Live, with a year-on-year spending decline of 3.6%. Although still negative, expectations for European spending in 2021 are a bit more optimistic — mobile phone market value will decrease by only 0.7% from 2020. The smartphone segment is expected to recover in 2021 due to the need to upgrade mobile devices, as some businesses will resume their normal activities, and the future of household incomes will be more transparent.

IDC’s Worldwide Black Book: Live Edition is updated monthly with the latest IT spending forecasts for annual growth across 100 countries. It will continue to evolve and capture the escalating impact of the coronavirus on market expectations.

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About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights: http://bit.ly/IDCBlog_Subscribe.