US PC shipments grew 1% to reach 135mn in 2021

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US PC shipments including tablets grew 1 per cent in 2021, despite suffering a 28 per cent fall in Q4 2021, a new report revealed.

Overall, the last quarter saw 33.8 million shipments of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets. Notebook shipments fell 28 per cent year-on-year to 17.5 million, mainly due to a decline in Chromebooks as the education market reached saturation, according to market research firm Canalys.

Tablet shipments shrank 31 per cent to 12.7 million as consumer demand slowed significantly. Desktops were the best-performing category, up 9 per cent to 3.6 million units as commercial investment in on-premises work continued to increase.

While Q4 2021 showed less impressive performance than the year overall, the market is well positioned to continue providing significant opportunities, especially from a revenue perspective, for the coming year amid strong business demand.

The commercial segment was the only area to maintain shipment volume levels from the fourth quarter of 2020, and saw PC vendors’ revenue rise by 13 per cent to more than $9 billion.

The US was a prioritised market in the early stages of the pandemic as supply constraints hindered the industry. Many firms, however, still struggled to acquire specific models and features, leading to ongoing pent-up demand. The first half of 2022 will see a concerted effort by firms to outfit employees with suitable PCs for their elevated daily needs.

In the market for PCs excluding tablets, HP led all vendors for full-year 2021, boosted by a strong standing in the Chromebook market, which led to struggles in Q4 as demand from the education segment fell off.

In tablets, Apple maintained its dominance in both Q4 and the full year, ending 2021 with 19.1 million iPads shipped, though this represented a 17 per cent drop from 2020.

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