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IDC forecasts 18.1% growth for PC market in 2021

The ongoing semiconductor shortage will not affect the continued growth of personal computing devices, especially now that many businesses have adopted work-from-home or hybrid working arrangements. According to a new forecast from the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, shipments of PCs are expected to grow 18.1% in 2021 with shipments of just over 357 million units.

However, the market will slow down, albeit slightly, in 2022 (-2.9%) with the overall five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) remains positive at 3%.

“We don’t debate that the overall semiconductor market is constrained right now, but for the overall PC market, it is a very different narrative than the years leading up to the pandemic,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Prior to 2020, the market was undergoing CPU shortages and to a lesser extent tight memory and panel supply. Now the focus is around lower-priced components like notebook panel driver ICs, audio codecs, sensors, and power management ICs (PMICs). Nonetheless, without 100% of the parts; a finished system will not ship, so a bottleneck is a bottleneck.”

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IDC said the three major segments in the PC market consisting of consumer, education, and commercial is in “desperate” need of inventory.

Constrained supply

“From IDC’s perspective, the consumer segment has the biggest upside looking forward compared to pre-pandemic levels, followed by education, and then commercial,” the IDC said. “Most regions around the world are still carrying channel inventory that is well below normal and canceled orders are not part of today’s discussions. Demand remains high and supply remains constrained.”

“As the component shortages continue into next year, we anticipate at least some of the buyers will settle for desktops in place of notebooks as the urgency of the demand for any kind of PC remains quite high,” said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Longer term, the consumer refresh cycle is also expected to be pulled in slightly as the pandemic has raised the profile of PCs and consumers to continue to spend more time and dollars on PC gaming and content consumption.”

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker gathers data in more than 90 countries and provides detailed, timely, and accurate information on the global personal computing device market.