PC sales are the healthiest they've been in a decade

Lenovo Legion T730
(Image credit: Lenovo)

A new report by IDC sees the global PC market as the healthiest its been since 2010. Overall the PC market has grown by 13.1 percent in the last year, with the final quarter seeing the best growth, jumping up 26.1 percent compared to last year. That means over 91 million desktops, notebooks, and workstations were sold in the fourth quarter alone, which isn't bad going by any metric. In total, over 300 million PCs were sold in the last year. 

Your next machine

(Image credit: Future)

Best gaming PC: the top pre-built machines from the pros
Best gaming laptop: perfect notebooks for mobile gaming

IDC breaks down these numbers by the big OEMs, with Lenovo maintaining its slim lead over HP, with Dell, Apple, and Acer bringing up the rear. Apple saw the biggest growth year on year at 29 percent, although it only accounts for 8 percent of the market, which is half the size of Dell, which rolls up in third place. 

IDC puts this growth down to the impact of the continuing pandemic, and that seems like a fair reading of the situation. Plenty of us are having to keep working from home, and while muddling through with the hardware you've got was fine for at the start, as we headed into the end of the year, plenty have felt the need to upgrade to better hardware to keep doing their jobs. Backing up this theory is the fact that monitor sales have also been high, as home workers try and create an efficient working environment. 

The report goes on to state that the PC market has seen six years of decline between 2010 and 2020, although it's worth noting that this hasn't affected gaming PC shipments, which have been growing steadily for years now. That said, even this report states that gaming PC sales are also at an all-time high—although doesn't try and unpick why that might be the case. 

Obviously, none of these figures takes into account home-built gaming PCs, although the recent availability problems with the new hardware would probably make for some miserable numbers there. For now, just take solace in the fact that the PC, in its many, many forms, is doing really well, and that's got to be a good sign for PC gaming as a whole, surely.

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.