Personal Computing Devices Market Share
Updated: 30 Mar 2021
Forecast Data Overview
Worldwide PCD shipments reached 138.8 million units during the fourth quarter of 2021, marking a 3.6% decline over the same quarter last year. The decline was mainly driven by tablet shipments that reached 45.6 million units in the quarter, posting a decline for the second time since the pandemic began in 2020. Tablet shipments declined 12.7% year over year in 4Q21 as demand slowed. For the full year 2021, total tablet shipments were up 3% year over year. Meanwhile, worldwide PC shipments of desktops, notebooks, and workstations reached 93.2 million units during the fourth quarter of 2021, marking a 1.6% growth over the same quarter last year. Total PC shipments during 2021 reached 348.8 million units, up 14.8% from 2020. This represents the highest level of shipments the PC market has seen since 2012.
Consumer need for PCs in emerging markets and global commercial demand remained strong in 4Q21, with supply being a gating factor. While consumer and educational demand has tapered in some developed markets, we continue to believe the overall PC market has reset at a much higher level than before the pandemic. A challenging logistical environment, coupled with ongoing supply-side shortages, meant that the PC market could have been even larger than it was in 2021. We closed the year with many buyers still waiting for their PC orders to ship. As we move through the first half of the year, we expect supply to remain constrained, especially with regards to commercial segment where demand is the most robust.
Full year 2021 was a great year for the tablet market, but the shipments have now begun to decelerate as the market has moved past peak demand across many geographies. However, shipments in the near future will remain above pre-pandemic levels for tablets as well as virtual learning, remote work, and media consumption remain priorities for users.
In 2022, PCD shipments are expected to decline by 1.3% year-over-year. IDC believes that 2022 is the year that regression and tough comparisons land upon the market's feet. We have adjusted our PC forecast slightly upward to 346.0 million (-1.0%) units for the year. Developing headwinds will keep a third straight year of double-digit growth at bay, though it should be noted that our volume outlook remains elevated compared with pre-COVID-19 pandemic expectations. Tablet market is also expected to decline by 2.1% year-over-year in 2022.
From a regional perspective, emerging markets were more likely to increase their 2022 forecast this go around. By product category, we are slightly more bullish on desktop (-2.4% compared with -2.8% in the prior forecast), more bearish on notebooks (-0.6% versus 0.9%), more bullish on workstations (2.8% versus 1.1%) and more bullish on slate ( -4.9% versus -8.1%) and detachable tablets (1.3% versus -0.6%). All of these product-level trends signify continued recovery of the business PC markets, as education and, to a lesser extent, consumer show signs of sluggishness. Continued commercial recovery will not only keep market volumes afloat but will likely further accelerate the climb up the pricing spectrum.