Australian PC sales were up 11.8% in 2020

Australians bought almost 5 million personal computers—desktops, laptops, and workstations—during 2020.

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Australian sales of laptops, desktops, and workstations grew 11.8% in 2020, driven mostly by an increase in consumer buying. According to IDC's Quarterly Personal Computing Devices Tracker, a total of 4.9 million computers were purchased in Australia in 2020.

The driver for this growth was the consumer segment, which saw a 29% increase year over year, while the commercial segment dropped 2% for the year. This was somewhat expected considering that most organisations ceased hiring staff during the coronavirus pandemic and many employees were required to work from home, while schools also had a period of online teaching.

The increase became noticeable following sales in the second quarter of 2020, when enterprise market saw a 20% increase in PC sales and consumer sales recorded a 50% increase.

Desktop PC sales in Australia in 2020

Desktops sales suffered a 8.6% decline in 2020, a direct result of a 26.6% decline in the commercial segment. That was largely offset by the 27.8% growth in consumer buying due to demand for whitebox gaming and all-in-ones PCs.

Reynard Lowell, IDC Australia’s associate market analyst for PC devices, attributed the consumer growth to two things. First, households are moving to having one PC per person. Second, for gamers, the launch of Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 series drove enthusiasts to an upgrade.

The growth could have been bigger, were it not for shortage in components.

Laptop sales in Australia in 2020

Commercial sales of laptops increased by 11%, driven by organisations moving away from desktop PCss to laptops for more hybrid work environments.

The consumer market saw a much bigger growth: 29.3% for 2020. The total number of computers purchased across both consumer and commercial segments reached 3.7 million.

Monitors also were in demand as professionals working from home took the opportunity to set up a proper home office. There was a 31.3% increase in the sales of monitors for the year. Sales of gaming monitors went up 133%.

A PC sales slowdown in 2021

The growth is expected to slow down in 2021, with IDC predicting a 4.4% decline in PC sales for the year. “The consumer market will continue to remain strong. However, the commercial market is expected to start to slow, as organisations remain cautious about buying. A stronger second half of the year is expected once there is more certainty and stability in the economy,” Lowell said.

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