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Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in 2020 Were Highest in 10 Years

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Worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 10.7 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner. The research firm said that PC shipments reached 275 million units in 2020, a 4.8 percent increase from 2019 and the highest growth in ten years.

The accompanying chart by Statista illustrates Gartner’s findings. “The worldwide PC market saw a strong finish to 2020, recording a third consecutive quarter of year over year growth, although there continued to be supply shortages due to this high demand,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “Robust consumer PC demand again drove sales, particularly in regions where governments maintain stay-at-home orders as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Prior to 2020, consumers had been shifting to a phone-first focus, yet the pandemic reversed this trend. PCs have resurfaced as an essential device as consumers, including younger children, are relying on them to for work, school, socializing and be entertained from their homes.

“Business PC spending was again weaker this quarter, as the urgent purchases for remote work peaked earlier in the year. However, in certain regions like China where economic recovery from the pandemic has already begun, business growth was slightly stronger.” While Gartner does not include Chromebook shipments in its traditional PC market results, the fourth quarter of 2020 was another remarkable period of growth for Chromebooks, with shipments increasing around 200 percent year over year to reach 11.7 million units. In 2020, Chromebook shipments increased over 80 percent to total nearly 30 million units, largely due to demand from the North American education market.

The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged from the previous quarter, although Lenovo continued to widen its lead over HP. Reflecting the trend seen throughout 2020, consumer-oriented vendors such as Apple, Acer and Asus gained market share (see Table 1).