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STAMFORD, Conn., January 11, 2021

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 10.7% in Fourth Quarter of 2020 and 4.8% for the Year

Continued Consumer Demand Results in Highest Global PC Market Growth in a Decade

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Worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 10.7% increase from the fourth quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. For the year, PC shipments reached 275 million units in 2020, a 4.8% increase from 2019 and the highest growth in ten years.

“The worldwide PC market saw a strong finish to 2020, recording a third consecutive quarter of year over year growth, although there continued to be supply shortages due to this high demand,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “Robust consumer PC demand again drove sales, particularly in regions where governments maintain stay-at-home orders as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Prior to 2020, consumers had been shifting to a phone-first focus, yet the pandemic reversed this trend. PCs have resurfaced as an essential device as consumers, including younger children, are relying on them to for work, school, socializing and be entertained from their homes.

“Business PC spending was again weaker this quarter, as the urgent purchases for remote work peaked earlier in the year. However, in certain regions like China where economic recovery from the pandemic has already begun, business growth was slightly stronger.”

While Gartner does not include Chromebook shipments in its traditional PC market results, the fourth quarter of 2020 was another remarkable period of growth for Chromebooks, with shipments increasing around 200% year over year to reach 11.7 million units. In 2020, Chromebook shipments increased over 80% to total nearly 30 million units, largely due to demand from the North American education market.

The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged from the previous quarter, although Lenovo continued to widen its lead over HP. Reflecting the trend seen throughout 2020, consumer-oriented vendors such as Apple, Acer and Asus gained market share (see Table 1).

Table 1. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Company

4Q20 Shipments

4Q20 Market Share (%)

4Q19 Shipments

4Q19 Market Share (%)

4Q20-4Q19 Growth (%)

Lenovo

 21,491

27.1

 17,713

24.7

21.3

HP Inc.

 15,683

19.8

 16,155

22.5

-2.9

Dell

 13,199

16.6

 12,127

16.9

8.8

Apple

 6,893

8.7

 5,250

7.3

31.3

Acer Group

 4,741

6.0

 4,035

5.6

17.5

ASUS

 4,570

5.8

 3,975

5.5

15.0

Others

 12,813

16.1

 12,493

17.4

2.6

Total

 79,392

100.0

 71,749

100.0

10.7

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gartner (January 2021)

Regional Overview

The U.S. PC market had another strong quarter, registering 20.6% growth year over year. Despite economic and political disruptions in the region throughout the fourth quarter of 2020, the consumer PC market continued to perform well, led by surging mobile PC demand. For the full year, the U.S. PC market experienced its highest growth in 20 years.

“Though many states did not re-issue stay-home orders until December, U.S. consumers continued to largely avoid travel, while many U.S. schools were either closed or ran hybrid online classrooms,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “Therefore, consumer spending shifted to items that could enhance life at home, including PCs.”

HP secured the top spot in the U.S. PC market based on shipments with 28% market share. Dell followed with 25.2% of the U.S. PC market share (see Table 2).

Table 2. Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Company

4Q20 Shipments

4Q20 Market Share (%)

4Q19 Shipments

4Q19 Market Share (%)

4Q20-4Q19 Growth (%)

HP Inc.

 5,323

28.0

 4,884

31.0

9.0

Dell

 4,792

25.2

 4,192

26.6

14.3

Lenovo

 3,460

18.2

 2,458

15.6

40.8

Apple

 2,713

14.3

 2,055

13.0

32.0

Microsoft

 1,010

5.3

 836

5.3

20.8

Others

 1,730

9.1

 1,352

8.6

28.0

Total

 19,029

100.0

 15,778

100.0

20.6

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gartner (January 2021)

Total PC shipments in EMEA reached 23 million units in the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 6.9% year over year, while Asia Pacific reached 25 million units, an 8.3% year over year growth. Consumer demand in both EMEA and Asia Pacific countries was particularly strong. Stabilized business PC spending due to China’s economic recovery also helped drive the strong growth in Asia Pacific.

COVID-19 Drives Highest Consumer PC Demand in 10 Years

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 275 million units in 2020, a 4.8% increase from 2019 (see Table 3). This was the highest annual growth for the worldwide PC market since 2010.

Table 3. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2020 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2020 Shipments

2020 Market Share (%)

2019 Shipments

2019 Market Share (%)

2020-2019 Growth (%)

Lenovo

68,507

24.9

63,182

24.1

8.4

HP Inc.

58,357

21.2

57,949

22.1

0.7

Dell

45,029

16.4

44,095

16.8

2.1

Apple

22,454

8.2

18,337

7.0

22.5

Acer Group

16,264

5.9

14,743

5.6

10.3

Asus

16,424

6.0

14,449

5.5

13.7

Others

48,111

17.5

49,797

19.0

-3.4

Total

275,147

100.0

262,552

100.0

4.8

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gartner (January 2021)

“Despite some supply chain issues at the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 coupled with consistent consumer demand created tremendous growth opportunities for PCs throughout the year,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “This momentum is likely to continue through at least the first half of 2021, but it remains to be seen if it will sustain in the post-pandemic era as it will depend on the permanency of the changes driving demand. For instance, online education may continue even after schools open, consumers may still buy groceries online, and some businesses may continue full- or part-time remote work. If these scenarios persist, then PCs will return to consumers’ daily lives as an essential device.”

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.

Learn more about how to lead organizations through the disruption of coronavirus in the Gartner coronavirus resource center, a collection of complimentary Gartner research and webinars to help organizations respond, manage, and prepare for the rapid spread and global impact of COVID-19.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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