Notebook sales help avert PC market depression

HP comes out as top vendor as market grows 9% year-on-year

The global PC market saw 9% growth in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the year before, recovering significantly from the 1% growth recorded in the first three months of the year.

Total shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations hit 72.9 million units this year, according to research from Canalys.

The rebound was largely driven by notebooks, which have gained more importance to businesses, students and consumers as they adjust to the new normal of remote work. Shipments of notebooks and mobile workstations grew 24% year on year, according to Canalys, while shipments of desktops and desktop workstations fell by 26%.

"Notebooks have singlehandedly pulled the PC market out of depression," said Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys. "They have been crucial in ensuring that the service, government and education sectors can continue to function in the face of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Vendors and the channel made the necessary changes to ramp up production and delivery of notebooks to the highest level in years."

Despite losing ground in the first quarter, HP regained market share, shipping a record 18.1 million client PC and unseating Lenovo to become the best-performing vendor. The US-based firm grew 18% over Q2 2019, with strong results in America and EMEA.

Lenovo shipped 17.4 million units, resulting in 7% growth, while Dell gained momentum from a resilient Q1 to grow 3% for shipments of 12.0 million units. Apple and Acer rounded out the top five, growing 13% and 21% respectively.

"The extraordinary demand has driven shifts in strategy across the industry. Chrome OS and AMD are making inroads into the commercial sector, while Apple MacBooks now run on ARM chips," added Doshi. "After years of smartphone-centred innovation, application developers, too, are turning their attention to the PC, where productivity and performance take precedence."

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