2020 was the biggest year for PC demand in a decade
Covid-19 has driven the need for people to work and learn from home, causing demand for PCs to soar, particularly for laptops
Covid-19 pandemic proved out to be a lucky charm for many people, ventures and industries - the tech industry would be holding the apex position on that list. In continuation of that, the pandemic has given a staggering boost to the PC industry since 2010.
According to a report of International Data Corporation (IDC), PC vendors shipped 302 million units across the globe, an annual increase of 13.1 percent, reports PC Mag.
"To put things into perspective, the last time the PC market saw annual growth of this magnitude was 2010 when the market grew 13.7 percent," the company said in a research note on Monday.
Canalys, another research firm, estimated the growth in PC shipments to be closer to 11 percent. Nevertheless, it agreed that annual PC demand hasn't been this high for a decade, when smartphones were just starting to take off.
Covid-19 has driven the need for people to work and learn from home, causing demand for PCs to soar, particularly for laptops.
"Worldwide PC market growth in 2020 was single handedly driven by notebooks and mobile workstations," Canalys added. "Shipments of these devices increased 44 percent from 2019 to reach 235.1 million units."
One category of laptops that rode high in 2020 were Google Chromebooks, which tend to be priced under $500. According to the research firm Gartner, shipments for the products surged by 80% in 2020, largely due to heavy demand in North America.
But luck wasn't favourable to every product during this flow. As Canalys says demand for desktops fell by 20%, likely due to businesses spending less on office IT systems.
As for the future, analysts expect the high PC demand to possibly linger into 2021 even with a Covid-19 vaccine on the way. "For instance, online education may continue even after schools open, consumers may still buy groceries online, and some businesses may continue full- or part-time remote work," said Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa. "If these scenarios persist, then PCs will return to consumers' daily lives as an essential device."