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PC demand remains strong even as shipment growth slows in second quarter of 2021

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Hp Omen 30l Case (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • PC shipment numbers remain strong in the second quarter of 2021.
  • PC shipment growth, however, is slowing compared to the first quarter of the year.
  • Global shortages are being cited as one of the reasons for the dip in growth rate.

Another quarter, another report with proof of the intense demand for PCs in our shortage-stricken, pandemic-ified world. In this case, there are reports from both Gartner and IDC highlighting PC shipment numbers in 2021 Q2 (via The Verge). Though their numbers differ, they agree that a dip in shipment growth seems to be occurring when compared to 2021 Q1.

Gartner estimates 71.6 million PCs were shipped in the second quarter of 2021, marking a 4.6% year-over-year increase from 2020. That's nowhere near quarter one's 35.7% YoY spike.

Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner, gave an explanation for the dip. "The global semiconductor shortage and subsequent component supply constraints have extended lead time for some enterprise mobile PC models to as long as 120 days," said Kitagawa. "This has led to prices increasing in the bill of materials, which vendors have passed on to end users. Moving forward, rising prices could continue to slow PC demand through the next 6 to 12 months."

Note that Gartner does not include Chromebooks in its traditional results.

Meanwhile, IDC estimates 83.6 million PCs were shipped in quarter two of 2021. Though its numbers differ from Gartner, its report notes the same trend that quarter two's YoY results are less impressive than quarter one's.

Neha Mahajan, a senior research analyst with IDC's Devices and Displays Group, gave thoughts on the cooling growth. "The market faces mixed signals as far as demand is concerned," she stated. "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."

Both reports acknowledge global component shortages. However, whether they're the driving factor behind growth tapering off remains to be seen.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

3 Comments
  • If they're still selling a buck of PCs why does Microsoft want to enforce planed obsolesce on millions of PCs that work fine on Win 10 but don't qualify for an upgrade to Win 11??
  • I guess for the same reason they did when releasing Windows 95 then 98, then Me, then Vista then 7 then 8 then 10. The motive is the same; to leave some things behind finally. They had nothing to do with PC shipments back then or today. "Enforcing" is quite a strong word when Windows 10 will remain in support until 2025. Not to mention that if you are referring to TPM, Microsoft had been working together with IBM on software TPM. By the time time hits, software TPM may serve you the same on any supported chipset.
  • You guess??? How about why the only desktop pc that Microsoft has in their lineup to this day (Surface Studio 2)...which I dished out $4600 for my configuration doesn't cut it because of a 7th Gen Intel CPU?