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Context and Canalys chart ongoing PC momentum

Analyst houses have been keeping an eye on the demand for desktops and notebooks across Western Europe as customers continue to buy hardware

It has been another week for those that operate in the PC world where the analyst numbers have confirmed that the momentum in the market has continued.

Despite component shortages – and even before the busy fourth-quarter (Q4) period – there are continuing signs that the hardware market is holding up.

An analysis of notebook revenues in the first few weeks of Q4 from Context meant that there was a decent performance in the market compared to 2019, driven by hybrid working and consumer sales. Making comparisons with last year is difficult because it was an exceptional period due to the pandemic.

“While trending upwards over recent weeks, desktop sales still remain below the 2019 average as commercial buyers focus on notebooks – both to support their flexible hybrid workforce and to ensure they have enough mobile computing options in case a new wave of mandatory lockdowns sweeps Europe,” said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context.

SMBs and larger enterprise have continued to invest in notebooks, but the difference in approach compared to last year is that the desperation to just acquire a device has been replaced with more focus on ensuring that the specs and performance is right.

Context also drew attention to notebook workstation sales, where revenues have nearly doubled between Q4 2020 and now, with one factor being the demand for the technology from the healthcare sector.

Spending also remained strong around some of the peripherals that users needed to get the most out of their hardware, and that is set to continue to be a source of revenue for the channel.

“Demand will remain strong for these and headsets, mice and other notebook accessories in Q4 2021 and 2022 as the hybrid workplace continues to take shape,” added Pygott.

Earlier this week, Canalys shared details of a 21% increase in the PC market across Western Europe in the third quarter, with customers continuing to invest to give themselves options during the on going uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

“The numbers prove a continuous demand for PC devices,” said Trang Pham, Canalys research analyst. “This isn’t just about fulfilling backlog orders anymore, but about managing a longer-term demand and this is good news for every single vendor operating in the market. However, we’re now seeing a marked shift to commercial, as the segment grew 31% versus 11% in consumer.”

“Looking ahead, commercial demand should sustain growth well into 2023. While Western Europe has been ahead of most of its peers in operational digitisation, especially when it comes to hybrid working, there is a definite need for faster and better spec’d devices, as companies look not only to insulate themselves from future disruptions but start looking seriously at their ESG goals,” said Pham.

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