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PC Shipment data is up, but the news isn’t good

IDC, Gartner and Canalys all out with their PC data.  Canalys reports shipments up 12.7 percent year on year globally.    Gartner is reporting PC shipments worldwide are up 3.6%, and in the US increased 11.4%.     IDC reports an increase of 14.6% year over year – and the company does note that PC vendors entered the quarter with a backlog.

Canalys reports on Chromebooks, and Gartner does not.     Gartner did note that Chromebook shipments grew by roughly 90%, with demand driven by distance learning.

And speaking of distance learning, I want to pair this data with a piece in the New York Times, reporting on a still significant shortage of computers for education, with months long shipping delays and school districts competing with one another.    This is also not a US only problem – huge demand coming from other countries, ranging from Germany to El Salvador to Japan.

Why do we care?

One might have heard the data and been encouraged, thinking “these up PC numbers” would be great news for the industry.

Except… I’d argue they aren’t.    It’s not a sustainable trend, and also one we’re not successfully taking advantage of.    We aren’t solving the distance learning problem – even on a basic level.    There’s opportunity here for sure.

I’m also going to highlight the rise of Chromebooks.    Even if you’re Microsoft centric, remember that the Microsoft 365 platform runs on Chromebooks.     Don’t be dismissive – because we will have a generation of users (currently called students) who expect and understand this environment.

Source: Channel Partner Insight

Source: ZDNet

Source: NY Times