COVID demand boosts Australian PC market in Q1
The Australian PC market experienced an atypical uptick during the first calendar quarter as a result of increased demand amid COVID-19 lockdowns, according to IDC.
The research firm estimates that total shipments grew 5.3% year-on-year to 1.039 million units due to growth in both the commercial and consumer segments.
The sudden need to facilitate working from home arrangements led to a 5.4% increase in the commercial segment, compared to the 4.9% increase in the consumer segment.
But shipments for desktops, which had been given a boost due to Windows 10 migration-related refreshes at the start of the year, dropped off towards the end of the quarter due to supply issues and curbed demand due to COVID-19-related lockdowns.
Shipments for notebooks by contrast surged 5.5% year-on-year during Q1 to 744,000 as many Australians adjusted to the requirement to work from home.
"We expect increased demand for notebooks to continue well into the second quarter of the year, with lockdowns continuing, more people working from home and migration to online learning," IDC Australia Associate Market Analyst for PC Devices Reynard Lowell said.
"Notebooks will continue to take share from desktops, especially in the commercial segment, as more people are working from home. This may result in declining desktop shares in the future, as new refreshes will likely be on the same form factor."
He predicted that the benefit of portability may appeal to enterprises in the post-pandemic era as they adopt a more flexible work culture.
But despite the strong performance during the quarter, IDC is expecting year-on-year growth to drop off to 2.9%, and for the market to decline overall in 2020.
"The boost in purchases during the first half of the year will likely result in a softer second half, as demand is being brought forward," Lowell said.
"Challenging times lie ahead with a series of potential economic repercussions. Stimulus winding down, delayed corporate expenditure and unemployment will negatively impact the market.”
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