In spite of the decreasing impact of the coronavirus pandemic-related interruptions on the tech industry, manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Apple, and Lenovo have continued to suffer severe shortage of computer chips.
As a result, manufacturing levels, and by extension, global shipments, of technological hardware items have slowed.
PC providers remain one of those greatly affected. However, as normalcy returns, a considerable rise in manufacturing volume and selling value have begun to emerge.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the global PC shipment volume reached 91.7 million units, achieving a straight second year Q4 shipment volume that exceeded 90 million units.
According to reports from Canalys, worldwide shipments of desktops, laptops, and workstations increased in Q4 by 1% year over year to 92 million units, up from 91 million recorded in 2020.
With a noticeable growth in the Q4 shipment volume, the overall PC shipment volume for the entire year 2021 remained on an upward trend, with 341 million units shipped. That was a 15% increase over the year 2021 volume, a 27% increase over 2019, and the highest total since 2012.
This upward trend translated to a significant revenue growth in the industry, with Q4 exports valued at $70 billion, an increase of 11% year over year through Q4 2020.
In addition, a dramatic shift in the industry’s trajectory is noticeable as the total revenue for the year surpassed the $250 billion recorded in 2021, which is up 15% from $220 billion in 2020.
The pandemic induced growth.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, the significance of the use of PC has risen, and the two-year compound annual growth rate of 13% from 2019 provides the evidence.
Notebooks and mobile workstations continued to be the most popular in consumers’ eyes, with 275 million units shipped in 2021, a 16 percent increase over the previous year.
Although the shipment volume of desktops and desktop workstations still trails behind those of mobile workstation units, shipment volume also climbed by 7% to close at 66 million units.
Data from the 2021 report suggests a greater win for tech literacy with the massive growth in PC penetration and usage rates. PC adoption by both young students and older family members has increased, and owning two or more PCs per person is becoming a commonplace in developed countries.
Lenovo’s sustained dominance
Lenovo, which recorded a 3% decline year on year in Q4 2021, maintained its dominance in the worldwide PC market. The company had a 24 percent market share in Q4 2021, down from 26% in Q4 2020, but had the highest unit sales in 2021, at 21.7 million units.
Lenovo was also the top-shipping vendor for the entire year of 2021, with 82.1 million items shipped, a 13.1 percent increase over figures from the previous year.
Despite the introduction of fantastic products like the HP Elite Folio and Elite Dragonfly Max in 2021, HP, with a market share of 20.5%, earned itself a position in second place on the global PC shipment chart.
Dell grew 15% year over year in the third quarter, thanks to solid momentum from its commercial/premium product strategy, but ended the Q4 with an 18.7% market share.
Apple came in fourth place, with 9.0 percent Q4 growth and 28.3 percent year-over-year growth, making it the best-performing vendor among the top five. The company shipped 7.8 million units in the fourth quarter and 29.0 million units for the entire year of 2021.
Acer rounded out the top five for both the fourth quarter and the whole year, shipping 6.6 million devices in the fourth quarter and 24.4 million units in 2021.
While 2021 was the year of digital transformation, many believe that 2022 will be the year of digital acceleration. The demand for technology has exploded in the last two years, causing supply chain disruptions that affect not just PC availability but also cellphones, autos, and servers.
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