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

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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

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.