Sales of desktop PCs have suffered their worst slump in more than six years, according to the latest industry research.
Both Gartner and IDC reported huge drops in desktop PC, the former suggesting this could be as much as 12.3% when compared to the same period last year. Slumps like this haven’t been seen since 2013, and came following three consistent quarters of growth.
Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa added: “The single most significant influencing factor for PC shipment decline was the coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in disruptions to both the supply and demand of PCs.”
Interestingly, the opposite could be said of the laptop market. While it has also experienced supply chain struggles, these have primarily been as it attempts to meet the huge increase in demand. Millions of people around the world have been forced to work from home, leaving some scrambling around to find a suitable productivity machine.
Overwhelmingly, a laptop has been the device people turn to. Despite the iPad Pro and other tablets offering a potential vision of the future of computing, laptops still offer the perfect blend of functionality and portability. Once considered inferior to PCs in terms of processing power, recent laptop releases have proven they can more than hold their own.
The beauty of desktop PC is that the internals and peripherals can be easily swapped out without having to buy a new device. Upgrading your monitor, keyboard or mouse is as simple as connecting a few cables, while with some expertise an older processor or hard drive can be replaced within minutes.
The decision to purchase a PC is a long-term commitment, with a general expectation that the core device will last a decade or more. The same can rarely be said of laptops, which goes some way to explaining the latest figures.
A laptop provides a ‘quick fix’ for working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, but for longer periods a full desktop setup might be more attractive. Might this enforced experiment even convince some companies to pursue working from home once the pandemic has subsided?