Friday, 10 July 2020 07:28

Traditional PC market fared well in 2Q despite pandemic: IDC, Gartner

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Traditional PC market fared well in 2Q despite pandemic: IDC, Gartner Pixabay

The traditional PC market fared well in the second quarter of 2020 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with two analyst firms reporting increases year on year based on preliminary figures.

IDC said the market, comprising desktops, notebooks, and workstations, witnessed growth of 11.2% year-on-year. reaching 72.3 million units. And Gartner said shipments totalled 64.8 million units, a 2.8% increase from the second quarter of 2019.

The firm said despite logistics issues early in the quarter, the cost and frequency of both air and sea freight inched closer to pre-COVID-19 levels. This, along with PC production ramping up, and surpassing previous levels in some cases,, meant retailers and other distributors had plenty of supply and were ready to meet the surge in demand.

"The strong demand driven by work-from-home as well as e-learning needs has surpassed previous expectations and has once again put the PC at the centre of consumers' tech portfolio," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers.

"What remains to be seen is if this demand and high level of usage continues during a recession and into the post-COVID-19 world since budgets are shrinking while schools and workplaces reopen."

idc 2q2020 pcs

IDC Devices and Displays research vice-president Linn Huang added: "Early indicators suggest strong PC shipments for education, enterprise, and consumer, muted somewhat by frozen SMBs.

"With inventory still back ordered, this goodwill will continue into July. However, as we head deeper into a global recession, the goodwill sentiment will increasingly sour."

Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa said: “The second quarter of 2020 represented a short-term recovery for the worldwide PC market, led by exceptionally strong growth in EMEA.

"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.

gartner pc 2q2020

“Additionally, mobile PC growth was particularly strong, driven by several factors, including business continuity for remote working, online education and consumers’ entertainment needs.

"However, this uptick in mobile PC demand will not continue beyond 2020, as shipments were mainly boosted by short-term business needs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gartner said Lenovo and HP shared the top position owing to HP’s strong growth in the quarter. They accounted for half of the shipments in the second quarter of 2020, up from 46.6% in the second quarter of 2019.

IDC provided the following regional highlights for the second quarter:

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) Shipments came in above expectations with slight growth compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019. Second-quarter shipments saw a significant improvement, driven by inventory replenishment and strong sales of notebook PCs, fuelled by increased demand due to work from home and e-learning.

Canada The market continued its growth, posting the 16th consecutive quarter of gains. Shipments in 2Q20 were the second highest since 2012. The need for portable computing was highlighted by intense Chromebook demand from both consumers and institutions.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa Shipments exceeded already optimistic expectations, posting strong double-digit growth in 2Q20.

Japan The market declined, but achieved much better results than forecast in both consumer and commercial segments. The latter was driven by work-from-home demand for notebook PCs and residual opportunities for Windows 10 migration while the former grew to address working and learning from home.

Latin America Despite a decline of 4% year-on-year, notebook shipments grew 10%, the best result in the last two years for this category.

United States Shipments grew by double digits compared to a year ago. While the first quarter broke records for the lowest PC shipments in over a decade, the second quarter broke records for the opposite reason.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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