The PC Sales Boom Continues, Showing Fastest Growth in 20 Years

beautiful little girl with laptop making video call.
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When the pandemic added to the number of people working, and going to school, and trying to stay entertained at home, it created a need for more computers. CNBC, citing data from Gartner Research, reports that worldwide, PC shipments to vendors chalked up an increase of 32% in the first quarter of 2021 versus the first quarter of 2020. This is the largest quarterly growth rate since Gartner began tracking in 2000. In addition, total shipments were the highest since 2015, coming in at 69.6 million units.

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That’s a lot of Zoom school, especially considering that two popular platforms for education, Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Chromebooks and Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPads, are not included in the data. Apple’s computers are, as are computers from Lenovo (OTC: LNVGY), HP (NYSE: HP), Dell (NYSE: DELL), Acer (TPE: 2353) and Asus (OTC: ASUUY). Apple had the highest rate of growth, at 48.6%, followed by Lenovo, with shipments up 42.3%.

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The comparisons are easy in part because manufacturers in Asia, especially China, were shut down early in the pandemic. The COVID-19 virus emerged in China and spread during the January 2020 Lunar New Year, so quarantines started there before they began in the U.S.

It’s unlikely that growth will continue at this pace, although Gartner did not include outlook information in its report.

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About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.

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