PC manufacturers had a stellar first quarter of 2021, despite the semiconductor shortage playing havoc with supply chains and the anticipated return to the office.
According to a report from analyst house Gartner, global PC shipments rose by roughly a third (32 percent) in Q1, compared to the same period last year. A total of 69.9 million units were sold, excluding Chromebooks.
This is said to represent the fastest year-on-year growth since Gartner began to track global shipment numbers, 20 years ago.
According to Mikako Kitagawa, Research Director at Gartner, two major factors can be seen as catalysts for the growth: the pandemic-constrained market and the current global semiconductor shortage.
“Without the shipment chaos in early 2020, this quarter’s growth may have been lower. However, semiconductor shortages are now adversely affecting the supply chain once again, with shipment lead times for some PCs extending to as long as four months,” Kitagawa said.
“While this may lead to lower shipment numbers, it is still reasonable to conclude that PC demand could remain strong even after stay-home restrictions ease. Moving forward, vendors and suppliers will be closely balancing the need to meet underlying demand without creating excess inventory.”
The world’s top three vendors have remained the same as in previous quarters, with Lenovo holding on to the number one spot by total shipments. HP and Dell round out the top three, although the latter failed to grow its market share year-on-year.
As for Chromebooks, shipments grew by triple digits year-on-year, fueled by demand among educational institutions in the US and Canada.