FRAMINGHAM, MA – IDC lowered its guidance for the global tablet, notebook PC, desktop PC, and workstation market for 2020, with shipments expected to reach 360.9 million units, declining 12.4% year-over-year. The market is expected to recover slowly in the following years, with a five-year CAGR of 1.3%, IDC said.
As countries around the world continue to struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic, IDC expects the global economy to face challenges as consumers and businesses cope with financial hardship among other losses.
While the market suffered global supply issues in the first quarter, the supply chain has mostly returned to normal levels of production. However, logistics remain a major hurdle due to the diminished number of commercial passenger flights, which often carry cargo, and the lower availability of ocean freight has led to an increase in transportation costs. Additionally, the closure of retail stores and varying degrees of lockdown around the world have shifted demand in the near term.
"The increase in demand for PCs and tablets as more people work or study from home is likely to be short-lived," said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "Barring major changes in the trajectory of infections around the world, we anticipate many small and medium businesses to struggle to keep the lights on and consumers to focus on purchasing staples and other necessities in the second half of the year, rather than seeking new computing devices."
"What lies beyond this period of uncertainty is also a matter of uncertainty," said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays. "Not many organizations know what their new normal will look like, but most understand it won't be the same as the old. Twitter announced last week remote work would be a permanent part of their operations, followed by a host of other large companies. The transition to a new normal where workers aren't congregating on campus but working from truly anywhere should bring about a market expansion for notebooks in subsequent years once the dust has settled."