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News hardware & software 13 January 2022, 14:01

author: Jacob Blazewicz

PC Market in Good Condition in 2021; Largest Shipments in Nearly a Decade

Gamers may have a problem with hardware shortages, but apparently not through the fault of manufacturers. After all, according to analysts, 2021 was a 'watershed' year for the PC market.

  1. Analytics group Canalys reports that 2021 was a 'watershed' year for the PC market;
  2. 341 million PCs were shipped to stores last year (the most since 2012), helping revenue grow from $220 million in 2020 to more than $250 million;
  3. Analysts predict that the PC market will continue to grow at a staggering pace this year.

For many months now, we've heard subsequently more news about problems with the availability of electronic equipment and predictions that this trend will continue until at least the end of this year. However, a report by analyst group Canalys shows that the situation is not as bad as it might seem. As we read, 2021 will see the largest shipments of computers, laptops and workstations in 9 years.

PC Market in Good Condition in 2021; Largest Shipments in Nearly a Decade - picture #1
Source: Canalys.

Data compiled by Canalys shows that 341 million PC were shipped to stores last year - 15% more than in 2020 and 27% more than in 2019. Notebooks and mobile devices made up the lion's share of that number (275 million, up 16% from a year ago), but desktops also saw growth (albeit a more modest 7%).

This all translated into a significant increase in revenue - from $220 million in 2020 to over $250 million. Rushabh Doshi, principal analyst at Canalys, believes that this points to the increase of PC's importance and that this trend will continue into 2022:

“While 2021 was the year of digital transformation, 2022 will be the year of digital acceleration. (...) The importance of faster, better, more resilient and more secure PCs has never been greater, and the industry is willing to innovate and push the boundaries to keep this momentum going.”

He is seconded by senior analyst Ishan Dutt, who believes that PC has established itself as the center of 'work, learning and entertainment' in 2021. Moreover, he points out that PCs have reached a wider audience - both young students and older family members. Moreover, in highly developed countries, owning two or more PCs has become the norm, as, in many cases, buyers do not get rid of the old hardware after buying the new one. After all, the latter often appeared in due to the requirement of working or studying remotely.

As for manufacturers, Lenovo led the way in 2021, shipping 13.1% more devices to stores than in 2020 despite a slightly worse fourth quarter. (82.1 million). The next spots were occupied by HP (73.1 million), Dell (59.3 million) and Apple (29 million). The last company recorded the largest increase in shipments in the past year (28.3%).

Such impressive results are certainly pleasing to manufacturers, especially as they have in effect 'set the stage for further success' in the current year (vide Canalys). However, customers would only be interested in this growth if it translated into better availability and lower (or rather normal) hardware prices. Unfortunately, judging by the recent release of GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and Nvidia's announcements, we shouldn't expect to see the situation improve.

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