APAC region's PC market growth flattens out

COVID saw sales surge, but there's less reason to buy in the new normal

The APAC region's market for traditional PCs - desktops notebooks and workstations - grew 15.9 per cent year-on-year in 2021 to 120.3 million units, but shipments appear to have peaked according to analyst firm IDC.

Notebooks topped 2021's sales charts, growing 17.5 per cent year-on-year to 77.3 million shipments while desktops grew by 11.8 per cent to 41 million.

"The Asia Pacific region benefited from significantly improved supply in the second half of 2021," said IDC analyst Matthew Ong. "With slowing demand in mature economies like the United States, PC vendors began to prioritize countries in Asia/Pacific, which led to much-needed backlog order fulfillments and inventory replenishments."

Ong also said some countries in Asia Pacific continued lockdowns and COVID containment measures, helping to sustain demand.

Lenovo took 30 per cent of the region's market share, growing shipments 12.5 per cent year-on-year, and dominating China while growing over 50 per cent in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

HP came in second place across the region with 14.3 per cent market share and 17 per cent year-on-year growth, thanks to 58.7 per cent growth in India.

Dell came in third place with growth thanks to improved supply management, followed by Asus and Acer. Acer got a bump thanks to large education projects.

IDC predicted a 0.6 per cent sales slide for 2022, based on a combination of growth in the first half of the year due to supply chain issues resolving and back orders being filled. The analyst firm feels the second half of 2022 will see lesser demand as vaccination rates increase and countries return to pre-pandemic conditions.

"Still, the market is expected to remain above the pre-pandemic levels in the long term," said IDC.

"Ongoing demand from first-time buyers and requirements for studying and working from home are expected to continue to drive sales in the consumer space in the long run," explained research manager Maciek Gornick. "In the commercial market, businesses will continue to purchase notebooks, as many companies are likely to adopt hybrid working models as a default, while they will also want to be prepared for another potential wave of the pandemic. We are also likely to see ongoing deployments in the education sector, with more schools purchasing devices for students."

Essentially, the pandemic has made PCs indispensable and increased long-term demand – a welcome reprieve for a product previously felt to be in long-term decline. ®

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