Worldwide, PC shipments have recovered and are once again in positive territory.

Three global research houses released their latest global PC market figures yesterday, detailing growth rates from 2% to 11% depending on research criteria.

According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 64,8million units in the second quarter of 2020, a 2,8% increase from the second quarter of 2019.

After a significant decline in the first quarter of the year due to Covid-19-related supply chain disruptions, the PC market returned to growth as vendors restocked their channels and mobile PC demand increased.

“The second quarter of 2020 represented a short-term recovery for the worldwide PC market, led by exceptionally strong growth in EMEA,” says Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “After the PC supply chain was severely disrupted in early 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the growth this quarter was due to distributors and retail channels restocking their supplies back to near-normal levels.

“Additionally, mobile PC growth was particularly strong, driven by several factors including business continuity for remote working, online education and consumers’ entertainment needs. However, this uptick in mobile PC demand will not continue beyond 2020, as shipments were mainly boosted by short-term business needs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the second quarter of 2020, Lenovo and HP shared the number one position in the worldwide PC market, owing to HP’s strong growth in the quarter. They accounted for half of PC shipments in the second quarter of 2020, up from 46,6% in the second quarter of 2019.

Lenovo maintained its number one position in the worldwide PC market alongside HP, with 4,2% year over year growth in worldwide shipments. This was the result of strong double-digit growth in EMEA and over 50% growth in mobile PC shipments.

After a significant decline in the first quarter of 2020 due to supply chain constraints, HP recorded strong year over year growth in the second quarter as it recovered from those supply chain issues. HP showed particularly strong growth in EMEA and the US, brought on by healthy consumer demand for PCs.

Dell’s worldwide shipments declined slightly in the second quarter of 2020, representing its first year over year decline since the first quarter of 2016.

Dell’s shipments grew in EMEA and Japan but declined in all other regions, with the steepest drop in Latin America (20%). In many regions, Dell’s mobile PCs showed double digit growth, which was offset by a significant decline in shipments of desk-based PCs.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20) ended well for the traditional PC market, comprised of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, with global shipments growing 11,2% year over year reaching a total of 72,3-million units.

“The strong demand driven by work-from-home as well as e-learning needs has surpassed previous expectations and has once again put the PC at the center of consumers’ tech portfolio,” says Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers.

“What remains to be seen is if this demand and high level of usage continues during a recession and into the post-Covid world since budgets are shrinking while schools and workplaces reopen.”

“Early indicators suggest strong PC shipments for education, enterprise, and consumer, muted somewhat by frozen SMBs,” says Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices and Displays at IDC. “With inventory still back ordered, this goodwill will continue into July. However, as we head deeper into a global recession, the goodwill sentiment will increasingly sour.”

Canalys recorded total shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations of 72,9-million units in Q2, up 9% from a year ago.

This more than makes up for the fall in Q1 2020, as total shipments for the first half of 2020 were up 1% over the first half of 2019.

Canalys says the rebound was driven by notebooks, which have become of vital importance to businesses, students and consumers as they adjust to the new work and life realities caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Shipments of notebooks and mobile workstations grew 24% year on year, while shipments of desktops and desktop workstations fell by 26%.

“Notebooks have singlehandedly pulled the PC market out of depression,” says Rushabh Doshi, research director at Canalys. “They have been crucial in ensuring that the service, government and education sectors can continue to function in the face of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty.

“Vendors and the channel made the necessary changes to ramp up production and delivery of notebooks to the highest level in years.”

Canalys expects the importance of notebooks to grow as the PC ecosystem makes investments in the category. “The extraordinary demand has driven shifts in strategy across the industry. Chrome OS and AMD are making inroads into the commercial sector, while Apple MacBooks now run on ARM chips,” adds Doshi.

“After years of smartphone-centered innovation, application developers, too, are turning their attention to the PC, where productivity and performance take precedence.”