PC market growth continues despite ongoing shortages

Laptops on a shop display
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PC shipments in Western Europe hit 150 million units during Q2 2021, the latest data from Canalys has revealed, with the segment growing 3% year on year.

According to the market research firm, “post-COVID” demand in 2021 has been stable thanks to lockdown-enforced lifestyle changes taking on a permanent role in people’s lives. However, shortages of key components remain a problem, limiting vendor's orders and growth potential.

The 3% increase marks a return to a more modest figure after four consecutive quarters of stellar growth, Canalys said. However, it also noted that Q2 2020 was a “phenomenal” quarter and the first to show the COVID-accelerated spike in demand, meaning that 3% is still impressive in the circumstances.

“Demand is still strong. Western Europe has emerged into a post-COVID ‘new normal’, a rapidly digitalising world, as shown by the robust shipment numbers,” commented Trang Pham, Research Analyst at Canalys. “Had supply issues been resolved, we could have seen even higher growth in the PC market.”

Lenovo led the market for the third consecutive quarter, shipping 4.1 million units and securing a 27% share, the data revealed. HP came in second, having shipped 3.7 million units (24% share), while Dell, Acer and Apple completed the top five, with market shares of 14%, 10% and 9% respectively.

“In a time of high demand and short supply, vendors can secure market share by fulfilling orders more quickly,” Pham explained. “Lenovo’s global leading market position gave it greater bargaining power with suppliers, allowing it to fulfill orders faster than its competitors, especially in Western Europe.

“Previous leader HP, in comparison, was unable to maintain the required balance between the US and Europe, which resulted in the vendor losing its top spot in Western Europe.”

Canalys also found that tablet shipments in Western Europe grew by 18%, with 7.9 million units shipped, as the devices take on a more expansive role in people’s working lives. Apple continued to top the segment, growing its shipments by 73% in Q2 2021, while Lenovo came second with a 20% share and jump of 87%. Samsung, Huawei and Amazon all saw shipment declines.

“Tablets are no longer just devices for entertainment but have emerged as cheaper alternatives to PCs for remote working and learning, and are especially popular among students with basic needs,” Pham added.


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Canalys noted that that the second quarter in Western Europe’s PC market is usually weaker – and the trend this year is no exception.

“Many workers have now been asked to return to the office, students have been attending classes since early March and social gatherings are once again popular,” said Ben Stanton, Canalys Research Manager.

“Overall, the economic recovery looks promising in Western Europe. Demand for PC products is still growing, but unlikely to skyrocket again without another catalyst as strong as the 2020 pandemic’s digital acceleration.”

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.