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IDC: New Zealand PC market has strongest year ever in 2020

Demand for education devices and continued switches from desktops to notebooks has driven an increase in notebook sales leading to the strongest year of PC shipments on record, according to new IDC New Zealand research.

In 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 12.3% year-on-year (YoY) growth in unit shipments, rising to 826,000 units according to the latest IDC Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Notebooks benefited, growing 21.7% YoY in unit shipments, whilst desktops declined by -15.1% YoY.

The New Zealand PC market for 2020 saw shipments of commercial PCs increased by 18.3% YoY whilst consumer PCs grew by 5.2% YoY.

“With COVID-19 came a surge in demand for notebooks as schools and businesses scrambled to work and learn from home. This was then followed by increased demand in the consumer market, as savings from lockdowns and a lack of international tourism meant consumers had greater discretionary incomes and a need for entertainment and online learning” says Liam Landon, associate market analyst at IDC New Zealand.

“As businesses move to recovery, there remains a requirement for greater focus on business continuity and mobility," he says.

"This has meant that businesses and schools continue to move fleets onto notebooks and ensures that in commercial segments notebooks have stayed in high demand, while desktops have continued to decline. 

"However, demand around the world has seen similar increases which has led to shortages and an inability to fulfil all of the demand within the local market.”

The constrained supply caused by shortages in components, most commonly displays, combined with strong consumer shipments a year ago meant the New Zealand PC market declined by -9.1% YoY in 2020Q4. 

“The commercial market managed slight growth thanks to ongoing education demand, however supply shortages hindered the market and dragged other segments to declines," says Landon.

"Another bright spot within the market was branded gaming which has seen an uptick as consumers shift entertainment channels," he says.

"The decline seen in 2020Q4 makes the record year of 2020 even more extraordinary.”

HP comfortably regained top spot in 2020Q4 despite suffering from shortages and shipped the most units in 2020Q3. Following was Acer Group who benefited from a strong shipment of Chromebooks capitalising on education demand. Lenovo followed in third position, finding more issues with supply after a strong 2020Q3.

IDC predicts that New Zealand's Traditional PC market will reverse its current trend, declining by -5.5% in 2021 after a substantial year. The commercial market will slow while the consumer market is expected to grow YoY as households trend to one device per person.

In 2021Q1 a growth of 3.3% is expected driven by the persisting demand for consumer devices. However, the market is restrained by limited supply and the commercial market is expected to decline marginally with businesses being cautious with spending. Forecasts for the worldwide PC market are more bullish, owing at least in part due to the success of New Zealand's COVID-19 responses.