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A new report from Canalys claims that global PC and tablet shipments will fall 7 percent, from 395.6 million units in 2019 to 367.8 million units in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated global recession. According to the report, the PC market will stay flat in 2021 and will grow about 2 percent in 2022. The report comes a day after data from Gartner showed that global smartphone sales declined 20 percent in Q1, 2020 because of the pandemic.

Canalys further claims that while ‘the worst is behind us’, the ill-effects of the downturn will be felt throughout the year. According to the report, things are starting to improve mainly because the supply chains and manufacturing bases in China are slowly returning to their pre-COVID states. “Nevertheless, the recessionary impact of the coronavirus on global economies will not be minor, and consumers, businesses and governments will prioritize vital spending ahead of PC refresh when times get tough”, says the report.


From a category perspective, Canalyst’s Ishan Dutt said that the demand in notebooks will continue to persist because of increased remote working. “The same holds true for education, where schools have made investments in digital curricula and are implementing only partial returns to on-premises learning”, he said.

However, desktops and tablets won’t be so lucky, albeit, for entirely different reasons. According to Dutt: “Desktop refresh will suffer to a greater degree as businesses face prolonged uncertainty about the scope of their operations and dedicated office space needs. Tablets, which have the greatest reliance on consumer spending, will face a slump as holiday season demand in Q4 is expected to take a hit this year”.

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