Demand for education devices and continued switches from desktops to notebooks has driven an increase in notebook sales leading to the strongest year of New Zealand PC shipments on record.
Market analyst IDC said in 2020, New Zealand's traditional PC market experienced a 12.3 per cent year-on-year growth in unit shipments, rising to 826,000 units.
According to the company's latest quarterly device tracking report, notebook shipments grew 21.7 per cent in unit shipments, while desktops declined by -15.1 per cent. The local market saw shipments of commercial PCs increased by 18.3 per cent while consumer PCs grew by 5.2 per cent.
“With COVID-19 came a surge in demand for notebooks as schools and businesses scrambled to work and learn from home," said Liam Landon, associate market analyst at IDC New Zealand.
"This was then followed by increased demand in the consumer market, as savings from lockdowns and a lack of international tourism meant consumers had greater discretionary incomes and a need for entertainment and online learning."
As businesses moved to recovery, there remained a requirement for greater focus on business continuity and mobility.
This meant businesses and schools continued to move fleets onto notebooks and ensured that in commercial segments notebooks have stayed in high demand, while desktops have continued to decline. However, similar increases globally had led to shortages and an inability to fulfil all of the demand within the local market.
The constrained supply caused by shortages in components, most commonly displays, combined with strong consumer shipments a year ago meant the New Zealand PC market declined by 9.1 per cent in the fourth quarter.
“The commercial market managed slight growth thanks to ongoing education demand, however supply shortages hindered the market and dragged other segments to declines," Landon said.
Another bright spot was branded gaming which had seen an uptick as consumers shift entertainment channels.
"The decline seen in 2020Q4 makes the record year of 2020 even more extraordinary," Landon said.
HP "comfortably" regained top spot in the fourth quarter despite suffering from shortages and shipped the most units in the third quarter. Acer followed, benefiting from a strong shipment of Chromebooks capitalising on education demand. Lenovo followed in third position, suffering issues with supply after a strong third quarter in 2020.
IDC predicted that New Zealand's traditional PC market will reverse its current trend, declining by 5.5 per cent in 2021. The commercial market will slow while the consumer market is expected to grow as households trend to one device per person.
In first quarter 2021 growth of 3.3 per cent was expected driven by the persisting demand for consumer devices.
However, the market is restrained by limited supply and the commercial market is expected to decline marginally with businesses being cautious with spending. IDC's forecasts for the worldwide PC market are more bullish.