PC Sales Rose 7.1 Percent in the Second Quarter

Posted on July 10, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mac and macOS, Mobile, Windows 10 with 13 Comments

Data from Gartner and IDC shows that PC sales jumped over 7 percent in the second quarter of 2020 thanks to COVID-based work from home requirements.

Overall, PC makers sold 68.55 million units in the second quarter of 2020, using an average of the numbers provided by the two firms, compared to 64 million units in the same quarter one year ago. The bad news? It’s just a temporary bump, or what Gartner calls a “short-term recovery.”

“Mobile PC growth was particularly strong, driven by several factors including business continuity for remote working, online education, and consumers’ entertainment needs,” Gartner researcher Mikako Kitagawa said. “However, this uptick in mobile PC demand will not continue beyond 2020, as shipments were mainly boosted by short-term business needs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Early indicators suggest strong PC shipments for education, enterprise, and consumer, muted somewhat by frozen SMBs,” IDC research vice president Linn Huang concurred. “With inventory still back-ordered, this goodwill will continue into July. However, as we head deeper into a global recession, the goodwill sentiment will increasingly sour.”

Lenovo was the world’s largest seller of PCs in the quarter, with 17.1 million units sold, compared to 16. 8 million units for HP. Dell (11.3 million units), Apple (5 million units), and Acer (4.4 million units) rounded out the top five. And since I know this of interest to readers, especially given the recent news from WWDC, Apple’s Mac platform now represents 7.29 percent of all PCs sold worldwide, a gain of 18.5 percent year-over-year.

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “PC Sales Rose 7.1 Percent in the Second Quarter”

  1. ebraiter

    In a pandemic, go figure.

  2. wright_is

    The numbers could probably have been much higher. We needed a bunch of laptops and desktops in Q2, but we are still waiting for a bulk of them, because they aren't deliverable.

    We went with an emergency delivery of Dell Vostro laptops in March, since then the laptops have been trickling in.

    The same Story for headsets and webcams. We needed around 120 headsets and 90 webcams, we had 30 headsets and 0 webcams. That means that it has affected our Teams rollout, many of the users can do text only or haven't even bothered to take up the offer.

    users have been taking their PCs and monitors home with them for home office use.

  3. brettscoast

    Those stats make interesting reading. Just wondering are those numbers ever broken down to desktops laptops percentages?

    • Paul Thurrott

      My understanding is that the split is something like 70 percent mobile PCs vs 30 percent desktops, but neither firm differentiated in this way in these reports. But there is some data here. "Double-digit mobile PC growth was offset by a 44% decline in desk-based PCs" [in the United States], Gartner said. And worldwide, Dell saw "a significant decline in shipments of desk-based PCs." And IDC noted "a significant decrease in desktop" PC sales in Latin America.
  4. tghallin

    Do they include Chromebooks and tablets in this number? Anecdotal from one Best Buy, the first day Colorado closed down, they sold every Chromebook in stock to one business owner who was starting work from home.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Gartner does not include Chromebooks in its numbers, but IDC does. This is among the reasons I average their numbers because they measure things a bit differently. IDC said of unit sales in Canada, "the need for portable computing was highlighted by intense Chromebook demand from both consumers and institutions."
  5. bluvg

    In case it wasn't obvious... PCs remain the go-to for productivity.

  6. Bdsrev

    anytime the PC market sees some growth, Gartner and IDC are super eager to point out that it's temporary. It's strange lol. They have some bizarre fantasy that PC's will go away. Weird people

    • saint4eva

      In reply to Bdsrev:

      DO not mind them. PC sales keep going up, yet they keep hoping the sales fall. Just like most of them made false prediction that Microsoft Surface will die in 2018. Lol.

    • tboggs13

      In reply to Bdsrev:

      When the COVID lockdown started, we scrambled to purchase 50 cheap Acer laptops for employees that did not have PC's at home. I was actually stunned by how many didn't own a computer, but should have expected it.

      Now we are ramping up a plan to replace all desktops with laptops over the next 6-12 months. I think for companies that are still strong during the coming recession, we will see the same trend. This might last longer than July, but could be offset by failing businesses. Once that purchasing is over, we most likely won't be looking to purchase anything else for 3-5 years.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Well, it is temporary. :) It's not like the PC market is resurging or something. These are still secondary or tertiary devices for most people, and most people will continue buying and using more mobile devices more often.