PC shipments rise due to COVID-19 remote work increase

Get a free Techzine subscription!

Information Technology industry market researchers IDC and Gartner, both reported a surge in personal computer shipments during the second quarter of 2020.

The increase of pc shipments is attributed to the growing demand for computers to facilitate remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, both firms stated that the surge is likely to be short-lived.

During the second quarter, Gartner reported global PC shipments of 64.8 million units, a 2.8% increase year-over-year. International Data Corp. reported a different figure: 72.3 million units, an 11.2% increase compared to the same period last year.

The difference in the reported sales

The difference in the reported sales by each enterprise boils down to how each research firm defines the PC market. Gartner includes the shipments of notebooks, desktop PCs, and ultra-mobile devices such as Microsoft Surface. However, it doesn’t take into account iPad or Chromebook sales.

On the other hand, IDC takes into account desktops, Chromebooks, notebooks and workstations, but doesn’t count tablets.

Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner’s Research Director, said PC shipments saw “exceptionally strong growth” in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

“After the PC supply chain was severely disrupted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the growth this quarter was due to distributors and retail channels restocking their supplies back to near-normal levels,” he said.

Kitagawa attributed the surge in PC shipments, particularly to unexpected boom in online education and remote working. However, he cautioned that the upsurge in sales was not likely to go beyond this year since it was primarily triggered by short-term business needs brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The top sellers

Both IDC and Gartner ranked Lenovo Group Ltd. and HP Inc. as the top two PC sellers in the 2nd quarter. Gartner ranks Lenovo in the first position with a 25% market share and HP in the second slot with a 24.9% market share. However, IDC ranked HP as the top seller with 25% of the market share, followed by Lenovo with a 24.1 market share.

Apple Inc., Acer Inc., and Dell Technologies closed the list of the top five PC sellers, according to both firms.