PC shipments continue to see pandemic-driven growth despite the ongoing global chip scarcity that is creating bottlenecks in the supply chain channels.
According to the analyst outfit, PC shipments (including desktops, notebooks and workstations) in Western Europe reached 16.1 million units in the first quarter of 2021 – a 48% year-over-year increase. According to Canalys, despite “persistent bottlenecks” in key components, the supply chain is in much better shape than it was in Q1 2020, which saw factory closures during the first Covid-19 outbreaks.
HP had its most impressive numbers in the first three months of the year, claiming 26% of the PC market with 4.1 million units shipped.
Lenovo shipped 4 million units to claim a quarter of the market, while Dell, Apple and Acer complete the top 5 rankings with market shares of 14%, 10% and 9% respectively.
Apple saw the highest growth with shipments up 127% year over year, powered by its custom M1 internal chips, according to Canalys.
“Apple’s success makes sense because Western Europe has an existing Mac user base, high disposable income, and a strong community of tech enthusiasts and early adopters,” said Trang Pha, research analyst at Canalys.
“The latest step by Apple to develop its own processors shows its ambition. It also reflects Intel’s lagged SoC process with 5nm and 3nm chips. Working directly with TSMC, Apple was able to bring 5nm to the Mac much earlier. However, this step is about more than just specs. It shows absolute commitment to the Apple ethos that hardware, software and services work best when built together.
However, corporate IT managers can view M1-based Macs as a complex addition to their wealth, and Apple must now ensure clear communication about easy device management and optimization of bespoke apps. “
Although PC shipments continue to grow, Canalys says it will be a while before supply can meet demand – which remains high due to the introduction of flexible and hybrid work patterns.
“Digital transformation has accelerated, apps and workloads are increasingly cloud-based, and employees now expect remote and hybrid work options,” said Ben Stanton, research manager at Canalys. “It is extremely unlikely that PC supply over the next 12 months will match this sustained surge in demand. If a seller can deliver, the product will fly. “