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PC sales are on the up again

(Image credit: Image Credit: Startup Stock Photos / Pixabay)

More than 79 million computers were purchased worldwide in the third quarter of 2020, representing the steepest rise in a decade, according to a new report (opens in new tab) from market analysts Canalys.

The PC market grew by 12.7 percent year-on-year, fuelled mostly by the Covid-19 crisis and the shift towards remote working, according to the report.

The first quarter was relatively weak, with recovery starting in Q2 and spilling into Q3. Of all the different devices sold, notebooks were the most popular form factor, shipping 64 million units and almost breaking the Q4 2011 record of 64.4 million.

Notebooks and mobile workstation shipments spiked 28.3 percent, compared to last year, it appears at the expense of desktop computers and workstations, which saw shipments drop by more than a quarter (26 percent).

Lenovo, HP and Dell keep the top three spots (opens in new tab) and recorded a combined market share of almost two thirds (65.4 percent). With an 11.4 percent annual growth and 19 million devices sold, Lenovo is currently number one, followed by HP (18.6m units, 11.9 percent growth) and Dell (11.9m units, -0.5 percent growth).

“Vendors, the supply chain, and the channel have now had time to find their feet and allocate resources towards supplying notebooks, which continue to see massive demand from both businesses and consumers,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Analyst.

“After prioritizing high-value markets and large customers in Q2, vendors have now been able to turn their attention to supplying a wider range of countries as well as SMBs that faced difficulty securing devices earlier this year. Governments, which have realized the importance of PC access in maintaining economic activity during this time, have intervened with financial support or even full-scale device deployments.”

“This has been especially critical in the education space, with school terms commencing in Q3 without the possibility of on-premises learning in many markets. For example, the UK government made 100,000 notebooks available to ensure students, unable to return to classrooms, face minimum disruption in their ability to receive an education. Canalys expects IT expenditure, including investment in PCs, to be a core driver of economic recoveries in the aftermath of the pandemic.”


Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.