In the first quarter of 2021, Global shipments of personal computers rose at a record pace as people bought computers to help them study and work remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. This is the fastest such growth in two decades, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Personal computer shipments, which include both desktop computers and laptops, grew 32% in the quarter to 69.9 million units, Gartner said.
The top five companies included China’s Lenovo Group Ltd that grabbed the lead with a 25.1% market share, followed by American tech companies HP Inc, Dell Technologies Inc, Apple Inc, and lastly, Taiwanese multinational hardware and electronics corporation, Acer Group, according to the report.
“This growth should be viewed in the context of two unique factors: comparisons against a pandemic-constrained market and the current global semiconductor shortage,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner, according to Live Mint.
“Without the shipment chaos in early 2020, this quarter’s growth may have been lower.”
The supply chain of personal computers has been strained due to the coronavirus-driven surge in demand, along with an unprecedented shortage in semiconductor microchips that have seen many industries go into a frenzy.
While in the initial stages of the chip shortage, it was originally concentrated in the auto industry, a host of other industries have now been affected, including consumer electronics such as smartphones, refrigerators and microwaves.
“The supply chain issue plaguing the industry is a good problem to have. As average prices rise due to the scarcity of internal hardware, innovation in design is triggering long-term changes to the way PC vendors approach supply and demand. Chipmakers, too, are now bullish about personal computing and have increased their planned future investments to capitalize on the long-term opportunity. While the pandemic is not over just yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is also spurring SMB investment in computing, which halted abruptly in 2020,” says Rushabh Doshi, Canalys Research Director, according to MSN.
Gartner also informed that demand for Google’s Chromebook, which it does not account for in its analysis, increased three times in the first quarter thanks to strong demand from educational institutions in North America.
“It is still reasonable to conclude that PC demand could remain strong even after stay-home restrictions ease,” Gartner said.