Against all odds, the global PC market set to grow in 2021

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Despite a global component shortage, PC shipments could continue to grow this year before an expected drop in 2022. The five-year outlook remains positive.

Despite the current semiconductor shortage, the global PC market is expected to continue to grow this year, with shipments growth estimated at 18.1% year-on-year. According to research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, shipments are expected to exceed 357 million units by the end of 2021. However, even though the estimated drop in shipments of 2.9 % in 2022 is less encouraging, the five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to remain positive at 3%.

Jitesh Ubrani, research director for IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, believes that due to the semiconductor shortage, which is expected to be resolved by mid-year, some buyers will turn to desktop computers rather than laptops. “Longer term, the consumer renewal cycle is also expected to decline slightly, as with the pandemic, consumers have already upgraded their PCs and continue to spend more time and money on PC gaming. and the consumption of content, ”he said.

A return to normal not expected before the first half of 2022

According to Ryan Reith, vice president of IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers program, the semiconductor shortage has also shifted to low-cost components like integrated circuits (ICs) in laptop control panels, audio codecs, sensors and power management integrated circuits (PMICs) and affects less the sectors of CPU, memory and displays. “However, if a single component is missing, no matter how small, a finished system cannot be delivered, which will inevitably create a bottleneck,” said Reith.

Mario Morales, vice president of program, Enabling Technologies and Semiconductors at IDC, added that the common denominator of in-demand parts - automotive integrated circuits, sensors, PMICs and screen readers - is that these components depend on node technology at 40nm or more. "Mature technology nodes account for more than 50% of the total capacity of the semiconductor industry and vendors are only gradually increasing their capacity as they prioritize the most important segments of their business and invest more in traditional and advanced knots, ”he said. “According to IDC, the shortages will start to ease by the end of the third quarter of this year. A return to normal is not expected before the first half of 2022, ”he added.

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