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PC Sales Growth is Slowing Down

Posted July 13, 2021 | Chrome OS | Chromebook | Hardware | Mac and macOS | Mobile | Windows | Windows 10

As expected, PC sales growth is slowing dramatically as the global pandemic winds down, with PC makers selling 77.6 million units in Q2 2021.

Granted, that’s a gain of 11.7 percent over the year-ago quarter, a growth level would have seemed magical during the seven-year pre-pandemic period in which PC sales consistently fell every quarter. But compared to the previous two sequential quarters, it’s a big shortfall. IDC says that PC sales growth hit 55.9 percent growth in the first quarter of 2021, while Gartner claims the figure was 35.7 percent.

And now, both firms are sounding an alarm for future PC sales.

“Moving forward, rising prices could continue to slow PC demand through the next 6 to 12 months,” Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa says, noting the “marked deceleration in growth compared to the record” sales growth of one year ago.

“The market faces mixed signals as far as demand is concerned,” IDC senior research analyst Neha Mahajan added. “With businesses opening back up, demand potential in the commercial segment appears promising. However, there are also early indicators of consumer demand slowing down as people shift spending priorities after nearly a year of aggressive PC buying.”

Lenovo was again the world’s biggest PC maker, with sales of 18.6 million units delivering market share of 24 percent. HP was number two with 16.4 million units, and Dell was number three with about 13 million units sold. Apple came in fourth place with 6.1 million units sold, so the Mac represented just 7.9 percent of the PC market, a tiny gain over the 7.29 percent of the market it controlled in the year-ago quarter.

As you probably know, IDC and Gartner measure PC sales a bit differently; IDC includes Chromebook sales, for example, where Gartner does not. But Gartner singled out Chromebook growth in its report regardless, noting that “shipments were once again strong in the second quarter of 2021” and that the total combined worldwide PC/Chromebook market grew over 10 percent year over year, more than double the growth (4.6 percent) for just PCs.

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