PC sales remain on the upswing thanks to purchases made to support remote workers and learners. And it looks as if there’s still a lot of pent-up demand going into the holiday season.
Research firm IDC estimates PC shipments rose 14.6% annually in Q3 to 81.3 million. That compares with 11.2% shipment growth in Q2, and just 2.7% growth in 2019.
Officially, Gartner estimates PC shipments rose just 3.6% to 71.4 million. However, when including Chromebook sales (counted in IDC’s official estimate), Gartner’s estimate for shipment growth rises to 9%.
Along with Chromebooks, Q3 was a strong quarter for gaming PCs and (in certain cases) notebooks with cellular modems, according to IDC. On the flip side, desktop demand was said to be weak in the U.S. and EMEA. Desktop PC sales depend heavily on purchases made to support corporate offices, many of which are of course empty right now.
Demand for gaming products has been strong pretty much across the board in recent months: In September, supplies of graphics cards based on Nvidia’s (NVDA) – Get Report new GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 gaming GPUs quickly sold out at major retailers, and Sony (SNE) – Get Report and Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Report both saw strong pre-orders for their next-gen consoles.
Between them, top-3 PC OEMs Lenovo, HP (HPQ) – Get Report and Dell Technologies (DELL) – Get Report accounted for 61.5% of Q3 shipments, per IDC. Lenovo and HP’s shipments were each estimated to be up more than 11%, while Dell’s shipments, which skew heavily towards corporate buyers, were estimated to have dropped slightly.
Apple (AAPL) – Get Report, whose Mac revenue rose 22% annually during its June quarter, was estimated to have an 8.5% unit
Chinese astrology has it that 2020 is a “metal rat” year, and is associated with turbulence. Covid-19 has certainly provided a quantum of it. With a steep market dive in the first quarter, and sharp worldwide economic contraction, Asian business has had a rough ride. As star signs go, 2020 has so far lived up to its ratty astrological reputation.
The results of a survey conducted from August to September of Hong Kong-based Asia Business Council’s members, who are the chairmen and CEOs of some of Asia’s leading multi-national companies, collectively valued at nearly $3 trillion, and with some 3 million employees, offer insights against the turbulent backdrop of a year dominated by Covid-19. With a response rate of 83% (58 out of 70 members), the results showed a latent optimism and the confidence to re-tool investment focus. Though the outlook for job growth remains uncertain, not surprisingly, these leaders ranked public health and geopolitics as top concerns for their businesses.
A lot of numbers follow here, but they are very telling. When asked their outlook for business conditions in Asia over the next 12 months, and in spite of significant declines in their own revenues, half said they expect to see an improvement, while 33% expect conditions to worsen. Though not a table-pounding endorsement, this is a significant change from 2019, when 55% expected conditions to worsen.
Only 16% of members foresee a prolonged downturn or depression, and just 5% anticipate inflation. The wide distribution of an effective vaccine for Covid-19 is viewed as a pre-condition for a return to pre-pandemic economic levels–an opinion expressed by 91%—that speaks well of the latent, “coiled-spring” potential of