Shipments of PCs and tablets will continue to rise until 2021, but a downturn is unavoidable.

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The epidemic provided a much-needed boost to the PC sector.

PC and tablet shipments will continue to grow through 2021, but a slowdown is inevitable

According to International Data Corporation, worldwide PC shipments are predicted to increase 14.2 percent to 347 million units in 2021. While this may appear to be an amazing statistic at first glance, it is actually lower than the research firm’s May prediction of 18 percent increase for the full year due to ongoing supply chain and logistics issues caused by the global epidemic.

On the tablet front, the market is forecast to rise this year as well, albeit at a considerably slower rate of only 3.4 percent.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said the lengthening of the supply shortages combined with ongoing logistical issues are presenting some pretty big challenges for the industry.

Nonetheless, IDC believes that the vast bulk of PC demand is “non-perishable, particularly in the business and education sectors.” In other words, demand is unlikely to decrease very soon. That is good news for PC manufacturers (at least in the near term), and it contradicts what was expected prior to the pandemic.

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In its most recent pre-pandemic prediction, published in November 2019, IDC predicted that approximately 367 million units would be deployed in 2023. That total is now just shy of 500 million units.

“So how much is that compute centricity worth?” asked Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices & Displays at IDC. “A simplified view would suggest about 135 million units or 37% more than the original market forecast” Linn said.

IDC predicts that consumer spending will equilibrium by 2025. Travel and leisure, which had lower spending during the lockdown, should expand in the future years as technology investment regresses. This will certainly result in a market downturn, however exports are still projected to be greater than anticipated prior to the outbreak.


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