Ongoing supply chain and logistic issues have caused research firm IDC to cut back its growth expectations in the global PC market for 2021, with the firm now predicting an increase of 14.2 per cent year-on-year.
The rise, which translates to 347 million units, is less than the firm’s prediction back in May, when it expected the market to grow by 18.1 per cent, to over 357 million units.
Additionally, the tablet market is also expected to grow, albeit at a slower rate of 3.4 per cent.
"We continue to believe the PC and tablet markets are supply constrained and that demand is still there," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
"The lengthening of the supply shortages combined with on-going logistical issues are presenting the industry with some big challenges. However, we believe the vast majority of PC demand is non-perishable, especially from the business and education sectors."
The longer-term outlook of 2021 to 2025 sees the traditional PC market — including desktops, notebooks and workstations — growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2 per cent, with notebook PCs being the major source behind future growth.
Meanwhile, tablets are predicted to decline over the period by 1.5 per cent.
Towards the end of the forecast, lockdowns and restrictions are expected to ease and as a result, consumer spending is predicted to tilt towards travel and leisure and away from technology.
In addition, the market’s last four quarterly performances over the last 12 months are expected to eventually catch up with the market and drive “unreachable comparisons”.
"How much is this newfound PC centricity worth?" Linn Huang, research vice president of devices and displays at IDC, said.
"In November of 2019, we published our last pre-pandemic forecast, which stretched out to 2023. At that juncture, we projected a total market of 367 million units in 2023.
“Today, we are expecting over half-a-billion units of personal computing devices to be shipped that year. So how much is that compute centricity worth? A simplified view would suggest about 135 million units or 37 per cent more than the original market forecast," he added.