PC Shipments Grew 3.6 Percent in 3Q20
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 71.4 million units in the third quarter of 2020, a 3.6% increase from the third quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner. Consumer demand for PCs due to home entertainment and distance learning needs during the ongoing pandemic, along with the strongest growth the U.S. PC market has seen in 10 years, drove the global market momentum.
“This quarter had the strongest consumer PC demand that Gartner has seen in five years,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “The market is no longer being measured in the number of PCs per household; rather, the dynamics have shifted to account for one PC per person. While PC supply chain disruptions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic have been largely resolved, this quarter saw shortages of key components, such as panels, as a result of this high consumer demand. Businesses have continued to buy PCs for remote work, but the focus has shifted from urgent device procurement towards cost optimization. However, enterprise spending remained strong where government funding for distance learning and remote work has fueled device purchases, such as in the U.S. and Japan.”
While Gartner does not include Chromebook shipments in its traditional PC market results, Chromebook shipments grew by approximately 90% in the third quarter of 2020, compared to a year ago. This demand was driven by distance learning due to the pandemic, especially in the U.S. education market. Including Chromebooks, the total worldwide PC market grew around 9% year over year, with Chromebooks representing about 11% of the combined PC/Chromebook market.
The top three vendors in the traditional PC market remained unchanged from the previous quarter, although Lenovo widened its lead over HP after a quarter of record shipment volume. Consumer-oriented vendors such as Apple, Acer and Asus saw growth that outpaced the rest of the market in the third quarter of 2020. Lenovo maintained its No. 1 position in the worldwide PC market, with quarterly shipments rising to over 18 million units for the first time ever. Similar to other vendors, Lenovo experienced a decline in shipments, but it was not as steep as those experienced by HP and Dell.
HP saw below-market growth as desktop shipments declined 30% year over year, resulting in a growth of just 0.7% in the third quarter of 2020. HP performed relatively well in the U.S. market where shipments grew faster than the regional average, but experienced challenges in Asia Pacific and Japan. Dell’s streak of 17 consecutive quarters of year over year growth ended this quarter with a 4.6% decline, reflecting its focus on business over consumer PCs. Dell’s mobile PC sales grew, but steep declines in desktop PC sales offset this growth.
The U.S. market had a particularly strong quarter with 11.4% growth year over year, which is the first time in ten years that the region has seen double-digit growth. Robust mobile PC growth of 29% year over year was offset by a major decline in desktop PC sales. The EMEA PC market remained relatively flat in the third quarter of 2020, with just 0.4% year over year growth to 19.5 million units. Asia Pacific showed a moderate growth of 3.3% year over year, but the region showed a strong quarter over quarter growth of 16.5%, indicating a consistent recovery after a significant decline earlier in 2020.