PC Shipments Grew 45 Percent YoY in Q1 2021, Lenovo Retained Market Leadership: Counterpoint


Global PC shipments grew 45 percent year-on-year to 75.6 million in the first quarter of 2021, according to a market research outline. Lenovo retained its market leadership, and used to be followed by HP and Dell. The growth in the shipments of key PC vendors is forecast to continue in the coming months. Then again, the global chip scarcity that has impacted the provide of key components — in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak final year — is predicted to continue to impact the PC market worldwide in the second one half of 2021.

Market research firm Counterpoint has reported the global PC shipments data for the first quarter. The firm said strong demand across different categories and a low base in the same period final year because of the coronavirus outbreak are amongst the prime reasons for the growth.

Lenovo led the market again in the first quarter of 2021 with a 24 percent share, followed by HP at 23 percent, Dell at 17 percent, and Apple at nine percent, according to Counterpoint. The outline said that the overall momentum of the market used to be chiefly driven by the growth in gaming notebooks and a surging demand from the work-from-home and study-from-home segments.

Then again, the shipment volumes were down 14 percent sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2020 because of seasonality, the outline said.

Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Apple were amongst the top-five PC vendors globally in Q1 2021
Photo Credit: Counterpoint


The growing demand for computers (particularly notebooks) is expected to continue in the second one quarter. Counterpoint also said that the top six vendors will continue to dominate the market with a combined share of over 85 percent.

Predicting future trends, Counterpoint said that premium models with higher average selling prices could dominate the market through big promotions. Then again, that growth may negatively affect the growing shipments of Chromebooks to some degree.

Counterpoint said the market will see a 16.3 percent year-on-year growth in 2021, with shipments reaching 333 million.

Then again, despite the projected growth, the ongoing scarcity of chips is likely to affect the market. The firm said that it found a 20-30 percent hole between orders (end-demand) and actual shipments of key components including power management integrated circuit (IC), display driver IC, and CPUs.

Power management integrated circuits (PMICs) and display driver integrated circuits (DDIC) are said to have faced the biggest gaps in demand and provide the PC segment, with their lead time (the complete time from the start to the end of their production) being nearly twice as much because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Counterpoint noticed that while PC CPUs’ provide started to enhance in the late first half, some vendors faced difficulties in assembly the demand for components such as audio codec IC and LAN chips. Wi-Fi SoC shipments were also quite at low stock levels.

“Since we don’t see any meaningful foundry capacity expansion in H2 2021, it is unlikely that the lead time for key IC components would get well from the current status. Subsequently, PC brands and ODMs cannot fully solve the scarcity issue and lucid the orders backlog,” said William Li, a semiconductor and components research analyst at Counterpoint.

The demand-supply hole for components, which started in the second one half of 2020, is expected to continue for some more time. But Counterpoint said it must gradually be normalised in the late first half of 2022.

In late May, Dell and HP warned while announcing their quarterly earnings that the chip scarcity would significantly affect their PC supplies no less than until the end of the year. The market saw its highest annual growth in a decade in January.

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