PCs - statistics & facts

A personal computer or PC is a multi-purpose computer whose size and capability are designed for an individual user. Without the need to be operated by a computer expert or technician, these devices are intended to be operated directly by the end-user. The term PC was first applied as early as 1972 to the Xerox PARC's Alto, but this later developed to specifically mean a desktop microcomputer compatible with IBM's PC products. Such was the influence of IBM that only Apple Macintosh (Mac) products were able to compete for a share of the microcomputer market after the 1980s, without compatibility to the IBM PC.

PC market size

As the production and manufacturing costs of devices like PCs have lowered, this has enabled companies to produce high-end products for lower selling prices, making the devices accessible to more customers. In 2021, spending on devices, including PCs, is expected to reach 756 billion U.S. dollars globally, whilst overall IT spending is expected to reach 4.07 trillion U.S. dollars, with both therefore experiencing growth from 2020. When looking solely at 2021, forecasts anticipate around 500 million units to be shipped, with the market benefiting from the rise in home working and learning, which led to the surge in demand for PCs and tablet devices to support this.

PC segments

PCs come in several varieties, including stationary products like workstations and desktops, as well as portable products like laptops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets. In 2021, it is forecast that 274 million notebook units are to be shipped worldwide. As well as differences between the hardware available, the operating systems on the devices similarly varies, with Microsoft’s Windows being the most widely used computer operating system in the world, accounting for around 70 percent of the market. For desktop PCs alone, Microsoft’s control is closer to 80 percent of the market.

PC vendors

The overall market leader in the global PC hardware market in 2020 was Lenovo with a market share of 25 percent. Hewlett Packard (HP) was a close second with a 21 percent share. In terms of unit sales, Lenovo had over 68 million shipments, while HP had around 58 million shipments. PC vendors are faced with the challenge to adapt to the changing market and stay relevant with new products and services.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "PCs" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Segment: PCs

Segment: Mobile & tablet PCs

Segment: Computer operating systems

Companies

Consumption

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "PCs".

Personal computers (PCs)

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!
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PCs - statistics & facts

A personal computer or PC is a multi-purpose computer whose size and capability are designed for an individual user. Without the need to be operated by a computer expert or technician, these devices are intended to be operated directly by the end-user. The term PC was first applied as early as 1972 to the Xerox PARC's Alto, but this later developed to specifically mean a desktop microcomputer compatible with IBM's PC products. Such was the influence of IBM that only Apple Macintosh (Mac) products were able to compete for a share of the microcomputer market after the 1980s, without compatibility to the IBM PC.

PC market size

As the production and manufacturing costs of devices like PCs have lowered, this has enabled companies to produce high-end products for lower selling prices, making the devices accessible to more customers. In 2021, spending on devices, including PCs, is expected to reach 756 billion U.S. dollars globally, whilst overall IT spending is expected to reach 4.07 trillion U.S. dollars, with both therefore experiencing growth from 2020. When looking solely at 2021, forecasts anticipate around 500 million units to be shipped, with the market benefiting from the rise in home working and learning, which led to the surge in demand for PCs and tablet devices to support this.

PC segments

PCs come in several varieties, including stationary products like workstations and desktops, as well as portable products like laptops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets. In 2021, it is forecast that 274 million notebook units are to be shipped worldwide. As well as differences between the hardware available, the operating systems on the devices similarly varies, with Microsoft’s Windows being the most widely used computer operating system in the world, accounting for around 70 percent of the market. For desktop PCs alone, Microsoft’s control is closer to 80 percent of the market.

PC vendors

The overall market leader in the global PC hardware market in 2020 was Lenovo with a market share of 25 percent. Hewlett Packard (HP) was a close second with a 21 percent share. In terms of unit sales, Lenovo had over 68 million shipments, while HP had around 58 million shipments. PC vendors are faced with the challenge to adapt to the changing market and stay relevant with new products and services.

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