New Zealand PC sales up, smartphone sales down

Tablet sales have also grown as people are stuck at home and look to do more computing than a smartphone can handle.

row of desktop computers

The statistics are in and will be unlikely to surprise IT managers. PC sales have soared, while smartphone sales continue to fall in New Zealand. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns are showing up in hardware sales for the second quarter of 2020.

The latest IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly personal computing device tracker shows that New Zealand’s PC market experienced a 39.7% increase year-on-year, with nearly 217,000 sold in Q2. The top five brands are HP, Lenovo, Apple, Acer Group and Dell.

Why PC sales have grown in New Zealand

IDC associate analyst Liam Landon says that COVID-19 has “stimulated a somewhat stagnant market”. “We also saw growth in PC sales in 2019 and 2017 so the New Zealand market hasn’t seen too many declines in recent years,” he says.

During the lockdown period in May, demand was driven by businesses and students forced to work and study from home. Also driving sales was the Ministry of Education’s online school support package, announced April, when it ordered about 17,000 devices for school students without PCs at home.

After the lockdown, there was a surge in consumer spending on PCs, as well as monitors, with the latter sales growing 61.9% year-on-year, Landon says. “When lockdowns eased, pent-up demand was released and resulted in increased purchasing of devices for home use. Consumers looked for notebooks over smartphones or tablets due to the increased productivity they offer, particularly with the movement to online learning. This led to growth in the consumer market, and expectations of continued growth during 2020Q3. Whole families are indoors more frequently and are requiring more devices per person to sate increased device usage.”

Landon cautions that strong global demand may affect supply chains for some time. “The demand we have seen has not been limited to New Zealand. Demand for PCs has spiked around the world, which is the reason we see supply chain issues—supply is struggling to keep up with demand globally.”

Why smartphone sales have declined—but tablet sales have grown

Meanwhile smartphone sales continued to dive, with sales of these devices declining by 19.6% in the second quarter. This compares with tablets, which grew by 11.3% in the same quarter year-over-year.

IDC associate market analyst Maxim Wilson says the Q2 year-over-year decline compares to a 19.9% decline year-over-year in Q1 of 2020. The relative unpopularity of smartphones is resulting in fewer supply chain issues than those experienced by those in the market for PCs and monitors.

“This continued contraction was due to lower consumer sentiment in the smartphone space, as lockdowns restricted spending in retail channels. Phones weren’t seen as vital to a working and studying from home environment compared to PCs, and supply chains were not back to full capacity by Q2. Now in Q3 we are seeing supply chains back to normal, with recovering consumer sentiment, as the economy continues to beat pessimistic expectations,” Wilson says.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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