The number of PCs delivered has risen by 32 to 55 percent in a year, three independent research firms have calculated. Analysts point to the ‘chaotic’ PC deliveries in the first quarter of 2020 and the chip shortage for this significant increase.
Research firm Gartner lists the smallest increase, with 32 percent growth. This agency writes that 69.9 million PCs were shipped in the first quarter of 2021. This growth is the largest increase Gartner has ever seen since tracking the PC market in 2000. Gartner says the growth is mainly due to the situation was ‘chaotic’ in early 2020 and fewer PCs were delivered. Due to the corona virus, factories in mainly China had to close at the time.
At the same time, Gartner notes that the ongoing chip shortages are still causing delays in PC deliveries. Some PCs could take up to four months to ship. The agency therefore expects the demand for PCs to remain high after the pandemic. Therefore, according to Gartner, sellers and manufacturers must work well together to meet demand without being left with an excess of inventory.
The top six ranking of manufacturers that supply the most PCs is unchanged from a year earlier. Lenovo is in first place, followed by HP and Dell. Dell’s lead over Apple has declined in the past quarter. Where Apple delivered 48.6 percent more PCs in the previous quarter than a year earlier, Dell managed to deliver ‘only’ 12.9 percent more PCs. This relatively small increase is due to Dell’s focus on the enterprise market, Gartner said. This market grew less rapidly than the consumer PC market, according to the analyst. After Apple, Acer and ASUS follow.
Canalys sees a larger increase of 55 percent and writes that 82.7 million PCs were delivered in the first quarter of 2021. It would also be the largest number of deliveries for the first quarter since 2012. Among other things, the agency points to notebooks that were not delivered in 2020, but were delivered in early 2021 as a major reason for the increase. In addition, small businesses would begin their recovery and require more PCs to do so.
IDC reports the largest increase at 55.2 percent, saying 84 million PCs were shipped in the first quarter. This agency also notes that the decline between the first quarter of 2021 and the last quarter of 2020 is small. There are always fewer PCs shipped in the first quarter of a new year than in the last quarter of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2021, 8 percent fewer PCs were delivered than in the previous quarter. That is the smallest turn-of-the-year decline since 2012, when the decline was 7.5 percent.
Both Canalys and IDC see the same top five ranking as Gartner, although the exact numbers do differ. The three research firms use different definitions for PCs. For example, IDC does not see tablets and servers as PCs, while Canalys only excludes tablets as PCs. Gartner excludes “iPads” and Chromebooks from its numbers. The three offices are provisional results.