Lenovo climbs as PC sales grow despite impact of chip shortages

Lenovo retakes lead over HP as the top PC vendor in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

PC shipments in Western Europe grew by 6.5% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021, according to analyst firm IDC, and it was Chinese PC maker Lenovo that topped the market, while Taiwan's Acer grew the fastest. 

The PC market worldwide had a big year in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and new remote working demands. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) shipments increased a whopping 44% year-on-year to reach almost 24 million units.  

But that level of growth was always unlikely to be sustained and has been hampered by semiconductor shortages that have affected the PC market, games, auto industries. This quarter 22 million PCs were shipped to channels.

Microsoft yesterday revealed that chip supply constraints dampened its Surface and Windows revenues; Surface revenues fell 20%, to $1.38 billion in the quarter.

Desktop PC shipments grew by 6.2% compared to Q2 2020. IDC attributes the milder growth to continued demand for gaming devices during lockdowns, for consumers looking to entertain themselves and socialize online with friends. 

Notebooks and laptops, the stars of lockdown PC sales, have slowed dramatically too but still grew 6.6% in the period -- signaling an impending end to the four consecutive quarters of double-digit growth.

"The supply issues concerning a range of crucial components continue to limit shipments in the Western European market," said Simon Thomas, research analyst for IDC Western European personal computing devices. "This, combined with partial relaxing of lockdowns and a return to seasonality, has slowed the rapid growth seen in recent quarters."

In the consumer market, spending on PCs was still impressive in Western Europe, posting a rise of 18.6% compared with Q2 2020. Vendors shipped 6.3 million PCs. Over the period, desktop shipments grew 36.1%, while notebooks grew 15.5%. 

But commercial shipments were flat, declining -0.8% year on year, with desktop sales falling 7.3%. It was the fifth consecutive quarterly decline for commercial shipments, despite notebook sales growing 0.7% year on year. 

IDC expects desktop sales to increase in the second half of 2021. 

Lenovo was the market leader in EMEA in Q2, with a growth of 5.5% and a 25.8% share, followed by HP, whose shipments shrank 4.3%, leaving it was a 24.3% share. Dell had a 13.5% share while Acer, which grew an impressive 23.1% in the consumer market, had a 9.6% share. 

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IDC