What you need to know
- The IDC estimates over 357 million PC units will be shipped in 2021.
- This equates to an 18.1% increase year-over-year.
- It's expected that desktops will take the place of notebooks for some consumers as shortages of the latter persist.
Though there's always a new story regarding the great semiconductor shortage of 2021, there's not always a story that cites the opposite side of the coin: The shortages are due, in part, to record levels of demand. In other words, PCs aren't selling less than usual due to supply pitfalls; rather, they're selling more than ever before, which is only compounding supply chain failings further.
For example: The International Data Corporation (IDC) is expecting PC shipments to skyrocket throughout the rest of 2021. Specifically, it estimates that "shipments of PCs are expected to grow 18.1% in 2021 with shipments of just over 357 million units." The IDC anticipates a growth dropoff of -2.9% in 2022 but an overall positive 3% compound annual growth rate over five years.
Even with worldwide component shortages all over the world, major manufacturers and suppliers are still moving mountains to ensure that unprecedented demand is met as efficiently as possible. In a world that's gone remote, it's a natural conclusion that sales of PC technology are through the roof.
The IDC's research manager for Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, Jitesh Ubrani, said, "as the component shortages continue into next year, we anticipate at least some of the buyers will settle for desktops in place of notebooks as the urgency of demand for any kind of PC remains quite high." The idea here is that even if notebooks are in high demand and consumer desire does beat out supply, desktop sales will fill the void.
Ubrani's forecast is a reasonable one, given that notebook PC shipments are up 81% over last year. It stands to reason that that sort of intense consumer appetite, compounded by component shortages, will eventually force those urgently in need of tech to hop over to the desktop side of the fence simply for the sake of having a functional machine to carry out work on.