Personal Computing Devices Market Share
Updated: 22 Sep 2021
Forecast Data Overview
The surge in demand for PCs and tablets continued through the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21) despite global component shortages and logistics issues. Worldwide shipments of Traditional PCs, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, reached 84.2 million units in 2Q21, up 13.4% from the second quarter of 2020 and tables managed to grow 3.9% YoY with shipments totaling 40.4 million units, according to results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Elevated demand for PCs combined with shortages that greatly impacted the supply of notebooks led to desktop growth outpacing that of notebooks during the quarter. Though annual growth remains quite high, it has begun to taper off as the growth rate in 2Q21 is far lower than the growth in 1Q21 and 4Q20. With businesses opening back up, demand potential in the commercial segment appears promising. However, there are also early indicators of consumer demand slowing down as people shift spending priorities after nearly a year of aggressive PC and tablet buying.
Chromebooks grew 68% Year-over-year (YoY) with volumes reaching 12.3 million units. While this wasn't a record quarter for Chromebooks, it wasn’t far off the prior 2 quarters which shattered previous highs. While still in high demand and even on backlog for many education deals, vendors have started prioritizing higher margin Windows laptops given the on-going component shortages. That said, there has also been a recent uprising of Chromebooks in areas of Europe, as well as a few Asian countries as schools start opening up to platform change.
For full year 2021, worldwide shipments of PCs are expected to grow 14.2% to 347 million units. This is down from IDC's May forecast of 18% growth with continued supply chain and logistical challenges cited as the main reasons. The Tablet market is also expected to grow in 2021 but at a much slower pace of 3.4%.
Over the full 2021-2025 forecast period, Traditional PCs, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, are expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2% while tablets are expected to decline 1.5%. Despite short-term supply constraints related to panels and ICs, notebook PCs will remain the main driver of future PC growth.
Personal computing devices played an instrumental role in many consumers' lives over the last eighteen months, enabling individuals to work, learn, game, and connect from home despite lockdowns and social distancing. Although COVID-19 cases are resurgent, eventually a level of normalcy will return. Even then, IDC expects personal computing devices to retain a central role in the personal lives of most.
In the latter years of the forecast, consumer spending is expected to rebalance towards travel and leisure – the categories of spending that suffered most during the various states of lockdown – and away from technology. Additionally, the strong quarterly performances over the last year will eventually catch up with the market and drive unreachable comparisons. In short, a market slowdown is inevitable. However, even when it does occur, the total available market for personal computing devices will be significantly greater than it would have been if not for the months spent working, learning, gaming, and connecting on these devices during the pandemic.