NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding the rise in demand for laptops because of the surge in remote working and learning requirements, global PC and tablet shipments in calendar year 2020 are expected to decline 7% due to the financial impact of covid-19 and ensuing lockdown.
Going forward, global PC market is likely to remain flat through 2021 and expected to return to growth of 2% in 2022, research firm Canalys said in a report.
The remaining three quarters of 2020 are expected to post smaller year-on-year shipment declines compared with the first quarter as supply chain and manufacturing in China are back up and ready to meet the pent-up demand from during the lockdown period.
The report added that the worst may be over but the financial impact of the lockdown will be enormous and will force many firms to prioritise their investment and as a result spending on PCs may decline.
Tablets will face a slump as holiday season demand in Q4 is expected to take a hit this year.
Desktop market will remain affected as businesses face prolonged uncertainty about the scope of their operations and dedicated office space needs.
“Notebooks have been at the center of a demand surge that has left vendors and channel partners scrambling. We expect this demand to persist as many businesses that have been forced into home working and found it successful are now choosing to implement it on a larger scale. The same holds true for education, where schools have made investments in digital curricula and are implementing only partial returns to on-premises learning,” Ishan Dutt, analyst at Canalys, said in a statement.
The report was optimistic about the PC market as the lockdown has made people realise limitations of smartphones and tablets and that they are no match for high performance laptops.
“Despite the progress that smartphones and tablets have made in recent years, the need for a high-performance mobile computing device has never been more pronounced. As countries emerge from this crisis and the ensuing economic slump, spending on technology solutions will be a key recovery driver,” Rushabh Doshi, research director Canalys, said in a statement.
Doshi expects the global PC market to return to growth of 2% in 2022, with desktop and notebook shipments overcoming prolonged weakness in the tablet space.
Canalys forecasts that the PC market in Asia Pacific region will shrink by 1% year-on-year in 2020, and recovery will start in 2021.
Unlike markets like South Korea which are on the path to recovery, most of the South Asian and Southeast Asian countries are still in the process of easing lockdowns. In these markets, commercial demand is expected to remain strong for the rest of 2020, however consumer demand will not be the same.