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Notebooks Fuel Surging PC Market In Age Of COVID

The surge in the PC market is no flash in the pan, with continued remote work and education combining with the holiday season to fuel demand.

A new report from analyst IDC forecasts 18.2 per cent growth year on year for desktop and notebook PCs in the fourth quarter of 2020, and 1.4 per cent in 2021. This is largely driven by notebooks, which are set to grow 26.4 per cent in 4Q20 and 3.2 per cent next year, while desktops decline.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said what had initially appeared to be a six-month surge now seems to have legs.

“The education backlog remains extensive and many school districts around the world are doing  everything they can to secure inventory. At the same time consumers seem to be buying all ranges of notebook PCs from low-end entry level systems to high-end gaming machines.

“It is important to note that all of this is happening at a time when other device categories like smartphones, PC monitors, TVs, and gaming consoles are also growing. A clear shift in consumer spend has happened,” he said.

IDC expects the shift in people’s workflow to have a lasting impact on the PC market in 2022 and beyond, with longer-term forecasts and average selling prices both going up as households shift towards one PC per person.

COVID lockdowns have also spurred growth in the tablet market, which is expected to expand 10 per cent year-on-year in 2020 with most of the demand being for detachables.

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