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PC sales rose in 2019 for first time in 8 years
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

One of the defining characteristics of the modern workforce is the variety of devices employees use to stay connected. Between the rise of BYOD initiatives and the greater availability of mobile-friendly SaaS apps, many workers today split their time between their smartphones, tablets and laptop PCs – while, in some cases, teams have abandoned the PC altogether.

At least, that’s been the perceived workforce trend over the past decade, as PC sales have seen declines and market shrinkage every year between 2011 and 2018. But as sales figures from 2019 were made public this week, it became clear that PC shipments actually rose for the first time in eight years – and not just by a small order.

IDC recorded a 2.7 percent year-over-year jump in sales from 2018 with a total of 266.7 million units shipped last year. The last year to see an uptick that’s even close to this was in 2011 when shipments rose 1.7 percent, according to IDC.

“This past year was a wild one in the PC world, which resulted in impressive market growth that ultimately ended seven consecutive years of market contraction,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

The turnaround for the PC market was also recorded by Gartner, who doesn’t include Chromebooks or iPads in their sales tracking, but whose data showed PC shipments growing 0.6% over 2019 to 261.2 million units.

Gartner credits a big chunk of the growth to a “vibrant business demand” for Windows 10 upgrades, specifically in the United States and Japan. They expect the momentum to continue into 2020 thanks in large part to the end of support for Windows 7 operating systems, which is driving many businesses and consumers to retire their old computers altogether for ones equipped with the latest Windows capabilities.

The fourth quarter of 2019, in particular, saw impressive jumps in PC shipments that may be a bit of a crystal ball for what can be expected going into 2020: IDC said global PC shipments rose 4.8% to 71.8 million units, while Gartner said shipments grew 2.3% to 70.6 million units.

In terms of which manufacturers are benefiting most from the sales boost, Lenovo and HP alone account for roughly half of the market, with 24.3 percent and 23.6 percent market share in 2019, respectively, according to IDC. Dell (17.5 percent), Apple (6.6 percent) and Acer Group (6.4 percent) rounded out the rest of the market.

All of this goes to show that while enterprise networks are transforming in response to SaaS, the cloud, and a wealth of new connected devices, maintaining visibility into more traditional workflows is still a priority for IT teams. Not every (or really any) company is going to be completely mobile, for instance, and even as tablet computers and smartphones get more sophisticated, there are still some tasks that users will prefer to use a PC to complete.

Teams need to leverage performance monitoring solutions that deliver continuous app and user monitoring, while integrating with all critical systems in IT’s purview, regardless of device type. When teams can see all user or app traffic in the network, they can more effectively analyze traffic to ensure end users aren’t being hit with chronic issues as networks continue to evolve and new technology comes online.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: enterprise IT, enterprise, Gartner, IDC, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, digital transformation, network transformation, PC sales, device, smart devices, devices, laptop, personal computer, PC

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