PC growth remains strong amid COVID-19 work- and learn-at-home

A woman working remotely with her laptop on her lap
COVID-19 meant continued third quarter growth in PCs, although IDC said numbers would have been higher if not for component shortages. (asiandelight/Getty Images)


The traditional PC market grew 14.6% in the third quarter on the heels of work- and learn- from-home trends due to COVID-19, according to analyst firm IDC.

The increase to 81 million shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations came after a 13.4% increase in the second quarter, compared to a year earlier, IDC said.

Free Daily Newsletter

Interesting read? Subscribe to FierceElectronics!

The electronics industry remains in flux as constant innovation fuels market trends. FierceElectronics subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, developments and predictions impacting their world. Sign up today to get electronics news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

IDC expects the fourth quarter will also be strong, said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager at IDC, via email.

Even with the uptick, the third quarter might have been stronger still but there were shortages on the components like processors and panels, IDC said.  The industry segment entered the third quarter with a sizeable backlog of unfulfilled orders and will likely end the quarter in the same position.  The backlog is even expected to last into 2021.

Bad planning on the part of component suppliers was to blame, rather than any technical glitch.  IDC Research Vice President called it a “shortfall of business planning.”

Ubrani said the laptop market would have soared higher in the third quarter if the market wasn’t hampered by component shortages.   “Market appetite was yet unsatiated,” he said.  “PC makers have certainly put in large orders though they haven’t been fulfilled by the  

Lenovo finished the third quarter with the largest global market share at 24.4%, compared to HP at 23.7%, then Dell at 17%, Apple at 7% and Acer at 6.6%.

3q20 pc market graphic

RELATED: PC shipments rise; Lenovo ranks #1

Suggested Articles

In June, Su stood out for heartfelt commentary on social injustice after the killing of George Floyd. She challenges industry to do more.

New chip will be incorporated in coffee mug-sized device to cost $199 next year

In a nutshell, Edge ML is a technique by which smart devices process data locally using machine and deep learning algorithms.