The market intelligence firm's Worldwide Quarterly Computing Device Tracker estimates that shipments of PCs are expected to grow by 18.1 percent this year with shipments of just over 357m units.
While IDC predicts that PC growth will drop slightly next year, the overall five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) remains positive at three percent.
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Program VP with IDC's Worldwide mobile Device Trackers, Ryan Reith provided further insight on how a lack of PC parts has affected the global PC supply chain in a press release, saying:
"We continue to get an abundance of questions about the growing semiconductor shortage and its impact on PCs, but it is important to peel back the onion because there is a lot happening underneath the PC supply chain. We don't debate that the overall semiconductor market is constrained right now, but for the overall PC market it is a very different narrative than the years leading up to the pandemic. Prior to 2020, the market was undergoing CPU shortages and to a lesser extent tight memory and panel supply. Now the focus is around lower-priced components like notebook panel driver ICs, audio codecs, sensors, and power management ICs (PMICs). Nonetheless, without 100% of the parts; a finished system will not ship, so a bottleneck is a bottleneck."
Keeping up with demand
The three major segments in the PC market (consumer, education and commercial) all share some common ground due to the fact that they are all in desperate need of inventory.
According to IDC's research, the consumer segment will likely grow the most compared to pre-pandmeic levels followed by education and then commercial. Consumers are increasingly upgrading their work from home setups with new PCs while schools and other educational institutions are buying more Chromebooks and cheap laptops to support remote learning. While the commercial market is poised for the least amount of growth, the transition to hybrid working could potentially help drive new device purchases.
Research manager at IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, Jitesh Urbani explained that the market intelligence firm believes that buyers will end up settling for desktops or even workstations as opposed to business laptops as component shortages continue into next year. At the same time though, renewed interest in PC gaming and content consumption could also help drive PC sales going forward.
While we'll have to wait to see when the global chip shortage will be resolved, it's clear that the PC isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.