Personal Computing Devices Market Share

Updated: 22 Mar 2021

Forecast Data Overview

With the pandemic still in full swing, the worldwide PCD market had an outstanding fourth quarter (4Q20) with 23.4% year-over-year growth and shipments totaling 143.5 million units with the catalysts being work from home, remote learning, and restored consumer demand. Notebooks and detachable tablets have broadened their presence in the market as the emphasis on productivity, flexibility, and ease of use is now greater than ever before. Shipments for detachable tablets grew 33.6% during the quarter as both Microsoft and Apple helped push the form factor with their respective products. Additionally, backlogs for PCs led some consumers to purchase these detachable tablets in place of notebooks. Traditional PCs (inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) grew by 25.7% year-over-year, with notebooks driving this market with a 44.1% year-over-year growth. The last time the PC market saw annual growth of this magnitude was 2010 when the market grew 13.7%.

Gaming PCs and monitor sales are at an all-time high and Chrome-based device are expanding beyond education into the consumer market. The pandemic not only fueled PC market demand but also created opportunities that resulted in a market expansion. Even the otherwise declining slate tablet category grew 9.7% year-over-year during the quarter as consumers sought ways to stay entertained, however this growth is not expected to sustain in the long term as restrictions around the lockdowns slow down.

In the near forecast, despite many regions beginning their reopening process from COVID-19, PCD demand across the globe remains strong and in some cases at record levels exiting 2020. The largest drivers of demand continue to be consumers and students needing reliable systems to be productive and connected, and corporate upgrades. Additionally, IDC believes strong demand exists for new PCs to enable hybrid use cases that will be required as the world finds a post COVID-19 normal. In 2020, PC shipments grew 12.9%; this momentum is expected to carry forward into 2021 as IDC forecasts 18.2% growth for the traditional PC market with shipments reaching 357.4 million this year. Looking further ahead IDC's outlook remains stronger than historical levels with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% for the 2020-2025 forecast period. Supply concerns for the PC industry remain, specifically around integrated circuits (ICs), but as the demand outlook continues to move upward so does the pressure on suppliers to increase capacity. Assuming no further supply disruptions, PC supply and manufacturing capacity should be in balance by the middle of 2021.

The first half of 2020 has seen a resurgence in the PC and tablet markets and demand continues to outpace supply. The demand is largely being driven by work from home and at home education needs, although the general lockdowns produced some additional buying for entertainment purposes. As a result, International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the personal computing devices (PCD) market, which includes traditional PCs, tablets, and workstations, will grow 3.3% year over year in 2020 with shipment volumes reaching 425.7 million units.

While this recent surge in PC and tablet demand still has some legs with extensions in lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and increase in the 1:1 device ratio in households for work/education/entertainment purposes leading to growth in the third quarter of 2020 in both the consumer and commercial segments, IDC expects the PCD market to decline in 2021 as businesses and consumers continue to deal with the economy uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Looking ahead the market is forecast to resume its long-term decline with a compound annual growth rate of -2.2% as shipments fall to 389.6 million units in 2024.

Notebooks and Detachables recorded an unpredented growth in the pandemic situation as digitization, mobility and flexibility are key drivers in the market and consequently the already declining desktop category saw further decline. Slate tablets on the other hand, despite being a product category that allows mobility, are not expected to experience the same growth as other similar form factors due to their possible limitation on the productive side.

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