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Global PC market to surge in 2021 despite component shortage

Global PC market to surge in 2021 despite component shortage

Next year may see a shipment contraction, but the five-year outlook remains positive.

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The global PC market is forecast to continue surging this year with a growth of 18.1 per cent year-on-year in shipments despite the ongoing semiconductor shortage. 

 According to research firm IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, shipments are expected to reach over 357 million units by the end of 2021. 

However, although the outlook is less rosy next year with a predicted shipment decline of 2.9 per cent in 2022, the five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is still expected to be in the black at 3 per cent. 

As a result of the semiconductor shortage, which is forecast to be resolved by the middle of the year, Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, believes some buyers will opt for desktops instead of laptops.  

"Longer term, the consumer refresh cycle is also expected to be pulled in slightly as the pandemic has raised the profile of PCs and consumers continue to spend more time and dollars on PC gaming and content consumption," he said. 

The semiconductor shortage has also shifted to lower-priced components and away from CPU shortages, tight memory and panel supply, according to Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. 

These lower-priced components include notebook panel driver integrated circuits (IC), audio codecs, sensors and power management ICs (PMICs). 

“Nonetheless, without 100 per cent of the parts; a finished system will not ship, so a bottleneck is a bottleneck," Reith said. 

Mario Morales, program vice president, semiconductors, added the common denominator across in-demand parts — auto ICs, sensors, PMICs and display drives — is that they rely on the technology of 40nm or older nodes.  

"Mature technology nodes account for more than 50 per cent of all the capacity in the semiconductor industry and suppliers are only gradually increasing capacity as they prioritise on the largest segments of their business and invest more on mainstream and leading-edge nodes," he said.

"IDC expects that shortages will begin to ease by the end of Q3 this year. A broader upstream balance of the industry is not expected until the first half of 2022." 


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