PC Sales Notch Strongest Growth in a Decade

Personal computer sales last year registered their strongest growth in a decade, underscoring a shift to computers from mobile devices during the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry data.

“Demand is pushing the PC market forward and all signs indicate this surge still has a way to go,” Ryan Reith, program vice president with International Data Corp.’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said in a statement.

IDC counted 302.6 million units sold globally last year, up 13% from the previous year. Research firm Gartner said PC shipments reached 275 million units in 2020, up 4.8% on the year. Similarly, Canalys pegged the increase at 11% to 297 million units, the highest annual growth since 2010 and the highest shipment volume since 2014.

Much of the difference in the tallies from the data providers comes from how each company defines PCs. Hardware makers in recent years have increasingly blurred the lines between personal computers and devices such as tablets.

The blockbuster figures come out just as CES, the world’s largest tech show, gets under way—virtually this year because of the pandemic. The annual gathering is often the staging ground for PC makers to unveil their latest models, which could help drive future sales.

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