Traditional PC Market Delivers Another Quarter of Double-Digit Growth in Q3 2020, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Octo­ber 12, 2020 – As the glo­bal pan­de­mic rages on and many coun­tries around the world enter the second wave of COVID-19 infec­tions, con­ti­nui­ty of busi­ness and online schoo­ling remain at the fore­front of every eco­no­my. This led to dou­ble-digit growth in the tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket, com­pri­sed of desk­tops, note­books, and work­sta­tions, as glo­bal ship­ments grew 14.6% year over year to 81.3 mil­li­on units in the third quar­ter of 2020 (3Q20), accord­ing to preli­mi­na­ry results from the Inter­na­tio­nal Data Cor­po­ra­ti­on (IDCWorld­wi­de Quar­ter­ly Per­so­nal Com­pu­ting Device Tra­cker.

Con­su­mer demand and insti­tu­tio­nal demand approa­ched record levels in some cases,” said Jitesh Ubra­ni rese­arch mana­ger for IDC’s Mobi­le Device Tra­ckers. “Gaming, Chrome­books, and in some cases cel­lu­lar-enab­led note­books were all bright spots during the quar­ter. Had the mar­ket not been ham­pe­red by com­po­nent shor­ta­ges, note­book ship­ments would have soared even hig­her during the third quar­ter as mar­ket appe­ti­te was yet unsatiated.”

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, shor­ta­ges of mul­ti­ple com­pon­ents, such as pro­ces­sors, panels, and other sub­com­pon­ents, led to mis­sed oppor­tu­ni­ty for many ven­dors. “The PC indus­try rode into the third quar­ter with a size­ab­le back­log of unful­fil­led orders,” said Linn Huang, rese­arch vice pre­si­dent, Devices and Dis­plays at IDC. “And it appears the quar­ter will end under the same aus­pi­ces. Given that the shor­ta­ges have been due more to a short­fall of busi­ness plan­ning than a tech­ni­cal glitch, we do not anti­ci­pa­te a sud­den sur­ge in capa­ci­ty. Con­se­quent­ly, this back­log will likely car­ry into 2021.”

Regio­nal Highlights

Asia/Pacific (exclu­ding Japan) (APeJ): The Tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket pos­ted a sin­gle digit incre­a­se in the regi­on with results com­ing in abo­ve IDC’s fore­cast. Ship­ments were dri­ven by inven­to­ry rep­le­nish­ments and strong demand for note­books as end users across the regi­on con­ti­nued to purcha­se devices for work from home, online lear­ning, and enter­tain­ment purposes.

Cana­da: The Tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket remai­ned extre­me­ly acti­ve, pos­ting the 17th con­se­cu­ti­ve quar­ter of gains. This is the second quar­ter whe­re COVID-19-rela­ted restric­tions were in effect, con­ti­nuing to boost demand from Cana­di­an house­holds and from orga­niz­a­ti­ons loo­king to ensu­re busi­ness con­ti­nui­ty through stay-at-home situa­tions. The need for com­pu­ting devices in Cana­da should remain high throughout the win­ter but spen­ding might be impac­ted by the macro-eco­no­mic situa­ti­on, incre­a­sing pres­su­re on average sel­ling pri­ces for the fore­see­ab­le future.

Euro­pe, Midd­le East, and Afri­ca (EMEA): Tra­di­tio­nal PC ship­ments achie­ved high sin­gle-digit growth in 3Q20 as ano­t­her excep­tio­nal quar­ter of growth for note­book out­weig­hed hea­vy desk­top decli­nes. The ongo­ing lock­downs con­ti­nued to dri­ve high demand for note­books to enab­le enter­tain­ment, working, and stu­dy­ing from home. Howe­ver, with offices lar­ge­ly remai­ning clo­sed the­re was limi­ted demand for sta­tio­na­ry devices.

Japan: The GIGA pro­ject through which stu­dents all over the coun­try recei­ve PCs and tablets for online lear­ning, as well as strong work-from-home demand hel­ped main­tain flat growth in the tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket. The con­su­mer seg­ment decli­ned year over year due to the high base­li­ne set last year by the con­sump­ti­on tax hike and Win­dows 10 migrations.

Latin Ame­ri­ca: The tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket pos­ted dou­ble-digit growth for first time in five years. Des­pi­te pri­ce incre­a­ses and eco­no­mic con­trac­tions in many coun­tries, the demand for por­ta­bi­li­ty con­ti­nues to rise. Hig­her note­book demand due to work-from-home and online lear­ning sus­tai­ned the region’s growth, which is expec­ted to con­ti­nue in most coun­tries into ear­ly 2021.

USA: The tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket wit­nessed yet ano­t­her extra­or­di­na­ry quar­ter pos­ting strong dou­ble-digit ship­ment growth. Preli­mi­na­ry results reflect con­ti­nued strong buy­er sen­ti­ment fue­led by stay-at-home PC needs and resul­tant inven­to­ry rep­le­nish­ment. While note­book ship­ments streng­t­he­ned fur­ther due to sus­tai­ned demand from the con­su­mer and edu­ca­ti­on seg­ments, the desk­top mar­ket decli­ned year over year but found some respi­te as gaming sys­tems remai­ned in demand.

Top 5 Com­pa­nies, World­wi­de Tra­di­tio­nal PC Ship­ments, Mar­ket Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q3 2020 (Preli­mi­na­ry results, ship­ments are in thousands of units)
Com­pa­ny 3Q20 Ship­ments 3Q20 Mar­ket Share 3Q19 Ship­ments 3Q19 Mar­ket Share 3Q20/3Q19 Growth
1. Leno­vo 19,272 23.7% 17,310 24.4% 11.3%
2. HP Inc. 18,690 23.0% 16,805 23.7% 11.2%
3. Dell Technologies 11,996 14.8% 12,098 17.1% -0.8%
4. Apple 6,890 8.5% 4,959 7.0% 38.9%
5. Acer Group 6,005 7.4% 4,644 6.6% 29.3%
Others 18,419 22.7% 15,091 21.3% 22.1%
Total 81,272 100.0% 70,907 100.0% 14.6%
Source: IDC Quar­ter­ly Per­so­nal Com­pu­ting Device Tra­cker, Octo­ber 12, 2020


  • Some IDC esti­ma­tes pri­or to finan­cial ear­nings reports. Data for all com­pa­nies are repor­ted for calen­dar periods.
  • Ship­ments inclu­de ship­ments to dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nels or end users. OEM sales are coun­ted under the company/brand under which they are sold.
  • Tra­di­tio­nal PCs inclu­de Desk­tops, Note­books, and Work­sta­tions and do not inclu­de Tablets or x86 Ser­vers. Detach­a­ble Tablets and Sla­te Tablets are part of the Per­so­nal Com­pu­ting Device Tra­cker but are not addres­sed in this press release.


IDC’s World­wi­de Quar­ter­ly Per­so­nal Com­pu­ting Device Tra­cker gathers detail­ed mar­ket data in over 90 coun­tries. The rese­arch inclu­des his­to­ri­cal and fore­cast trend ana­ly­sis among other data.

For more infor­ma­ti­on, or to sub­scri­be to the rese­arch, plea­se con­ta­ct Kathy Naga­mi­ne at 650–350-6423 or

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About IDC

Inter­na­tio­nal Data Cor­po­ra­ti­on (IDC) is the pre­mier glo­bal pro­vi­der of mar­ket intel­li­gence, advi­so­ry ser­vices, and events for the infor­ma­ti­on tech­no­lo­gy, telecom­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons, and con­su­mer tech­no­lo­gy mar­kets. With more than 1,100 ana­lysts world­wi­de, IDC offers glo­bal, regio­nal, and local exper­ti­se on tech­no­lo­gy and indus­try oppor­tu­nities and trends in over 110 coun­tries. IDC’s ana­ly­sis and insight hel­ps IT pro­fes­sio­nals, busi­ness exe­cu­ti­ves, and the invest­ment com­mu­ni­ty to make fact-based tech­no­lo­gy decisi­ons and to achie­ve their key busi­ness objec­ti­ves. Foun­ded in 1964, IDC is a whol­ly-owned sub­si­dia­ry of Inter­na­tio­nal Data Group (IDG), the world’s lea­ding tech media, data and mar­ke­ting ser­vices com­pa­ny. To learn more about IDC, plea­se visit Fol­low IDC on Twit­ter at @IDC and Lin­kedIn. Sub­scri­be to the IDC Blog for indus­try news and insights:


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