PC market flourished during COVID-19, but it won't last

By Amy Sarcevic
Tuesday, 23 June, 2020

PC market flourished during COVID-19, but it won't last

The Australian PC market saw 5.2% year-on-year growth during COVID-19, but the sales spike may be short-lived, with an overall market decline forecast by the end of the year, according to the latest IDC Quarterly Personal Computing Devices Tracker 2020Q1.

In total, more than 1.039 million units (desktops, notebooks and workstations) have been purchased, driven mainly by demand in the commercial sector, which saw 5.4% YoY growth. Demand from the consumer side was also strong, but slightly more modest at 4.9%.

Notebooks appeared to be the star of the show, with more than 744,000 shipments so far, representing 5.5% YoY growth.

Within the desktop market, PC updates relating to Windows 10 migration are said to be responsible for a boost in shipments at the start of the year. However, demand for this segment began to wane by the end of the quarter, due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This was further compounded by a series of supply setbacks.

Reynard Lowell, IDC Australia’s Associate Market Analyst for PC devices, said it is unsurprising notebooks have taken the lead — given the prevalence of work-from-home mandates.

He believes this technology may continue to outperform other PC devices in the months ahead.

“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,” he 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.

“Furthermore, businesses may realise that notebooks can be as powerful as desktops, with the added benefit of portability, which may be preferable in a post pandemic era, where more companies adopt a more flexible remote work culture.”

The IDC said a softer second half will counter the growth seen so far, resulting in an overall market decline for the year.

“Challenging times lie ahead with a series of potential economic repercussions. Stimulus winding down, delayed corporate expenditure and unemployment will negatively impact the market,” Lowell said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Alex from the Rock

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