Canalys: Global PC grows 35% in Q4 2020, forecast to increase 1.4% in 2021


    Analysis from Canalys’ recently published PC market outlook report details key growth trends for the sector in 2021 and beyond. PC shipments (including desktops, notebooks and tablets) are expected to hit 143 million units in the last quarter of 2020, up 35 percent year on year.

    This will bring total PC shipments in 2020 to 458 million units, a remarkable annual increase of 17 percent. The need for personal computing devices for skilled workers and students remains at an unprecedented high despite significant increases in supply. Growth in this sector will spill over into 2021, with shipments in the first quarter expected to be up 43 percent year on year on a weak Q1 2020. Shipments for full-year 2021 are expected to increase a further 1.4 percent following an extraordinary year for PCs in 2020.

    “While the global pandemic has provided a huge short-term demand boost, the PC industry has plenty more to look forward to in the years ahead. At Canalys, we identified four key trends that will drive PC market growth in 2021 and beyond: remote working, digital learning, device as a service and emerging use cases,” Rushabh Doshi, Research Director at Canalys said.

    Worldwide PC forecasts (shipment volume and annual growth)
    Product category2019202020212024Annual growth 2019-2020Annual growth 2020-2021CAGR 2020-2024
    Note: desktop, notebook and tablet shipments. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Desktops and notebooks include desktop workstations and mobile workstations respectively. Source: Canalys forecasts, PC Analysis, November 2020


    “As vaccines start to roll out and we enter a post-COVID world, behavioral changes among both businesses and consumers will place greater emphasis on PC use, leading to a host of new opportunities not just in hardware, but also in software and services. Meanwhile, the larger installed base driven by more use cases and broader demographics will provide a host of new opportunities. Security and connectivity will be key focuses in a post-COVID world, where businesses formalize their remote- and flexible-working policies for employees. PCs with stronger security standards will be integral to future solutions and will be expected from vendors and channel partners, especially in industries such as financial services and the public sector. The pandemic has also revealed just how important secure and reliable connectivity is in the face of disruption. As travel, commuting, on-site work and emerging market demand for broadband alternatives increase, LTE and 5G connected PCs will see their popularity grow,” Doshi concluded.