Computer penetration rate among households worldwide 2005-2018

Share of households with a computer at home worldwide from 2005 to 2018

by Arne Holst, last edited Aug 22, 2019
Computer penetration rate among households worldwide 2005-2018 In 2018, almost half of private households worldwide were estimated to have a computer at home. In developing countries, the PC penetration rate is lower with around a third of households having a computer. In contrast the share of households with a personal computer in developed countries exceeds 80 percent. In general, the share of households with a computer has steadily increased worldwide as computer usage and internet access is becoming more prevalent around the world.

PC sales declining despite higher penetration

Even though the share of households with a PC has been on the rise, the global PC unit sales have declined in recent years. The still growing popularity and usage of smartphones is rendering owning a PC as an additional device superfluous for many people. However, some segments of the PC market are increasing in sales value: the amount of PC gaming device shipments worldwide is expected to reach over 61 million units by 2020. Worldwide gaming laptop sales alone have reached a revenue of 12.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. The gaming industry drives many innovations in PC design, as personal computers are often used for such focused tasks.

PC utilization

PCs have been used for many activities, such as watching online videos, playing computer games, and completing work tasks. Though computers or laptops are still the most used devices to watch online videos among users worldwide, smartphones are now used more frequently in many different contexts. One of the advantages of using PCs was its connectivity, as internet usage was possible through the high-speed fixed broadband connections desktop computers offer. Yet now, with the advent of 5G technology, growing mobile broadband might decrease the stationary use of PCs even further.
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Share of households with a computer at home worldwide from 2005 to 2018

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