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PC shipments saw a huge rise last year

communication technology
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

In the fourth quarter of 2020, 79.4 million PCs (opens in new tab) were purchased worldwide, a 10.7 percent rise compared to the same period in 2019.

This is according to fresh figures from market analysts Gartner, which added that 275 million units were shipped for the entire year. That's a 4.8 percent increase over the year prior and represents the highest level of growth in the last decade (opens in new tab).

Chromebooks, which Gartner doesn’t include in its analysis of the PC market, also had a “remarkable period”. In 2020 alone, Chromebook shipments rose by more than 80 percent, reaching 30 million devices. Gartner claims the demand came mostly from North America, where education institutions made most of the purchases.

The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged from the previous quarter: Lenovo, HP and Dell. The former managed to widen the gap between itself and second-placed HP.

Commenting on the results, Mikako Kitagawa, Research Director at Gartner, said Covid-19 was the main driver behind the increased demand, but was also caused supply chain issues.

“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.”

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.