With the pandemic still in full swing, traditional personal computers were once again an in-demand consumer technology. And the news is very good for Apple’s Mac.
The fourth quarter of 2020 (4Q20) saw global shipments grow 26.1% year over year to 91.6 million units, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker (the research group counts desktops, laptops, and workstations, as personal computers, but not tablets such as the iPad). The same category of devices grew 13.1% year over year for the full year 2020 with the catalysts being work from home, remote learning, and restored consumer demand.
IDC says the last time the personal computer market saw annual growth of this magnitude was 2010 when the market grew 13.7%. A lot has changed in those 10 years, including six years of personal computer market decline, as well as a year of flat growth. The question now is how long this resurgence will last.
According to IDC, Apple’s Mac sales grew 49.2% year-over-year from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. With Mac shipments of 7.3 million Macs in quarter four of 2020, Apple now has 8% of the global computer market, up from 6.8% in the year-ago quarter.