Laptop, desktop shortages to continue through 2021

During the ongoing pandemic, most of us have started working from home to stay safe from COVID-19. And to have a good workflow a lot of us have purchased various tools like laptops, printers, smartphones and more. Apart from the people working from home, students who are currently pursuing their studies also purchased new devices to keep up with remote learning. Due to this laptop manufacturers are facing a hardware shortage and are months away from fulfilling outstanding orders, according to hardware industry executives and analysts.

“The whole supply chain has been strained like never before,” Gregg Prendergast, Pan-America president at Acer told Reuters. This is a big thing, considering that the annual global shipments of laptops and desktops peaked at about 3.0 million in 2008, and was at a steady decline since then.

Some analysts have stated that the laptop and desktop shipments by the end of 2020 will again close at about 300 million, up 15 percent from the previous year. The tablet market is seeing much faster growth.

According to Canalys, by the end of 2021, installed PCs and tablets will reach 1.77 billion, globally. To recall, the base was 1.64 billion back in 2019.

To meet this surge in demand, manufacturers have added suppliers, sped up shipping and are even teasing better models next year to help delay some purchases. However, that has not been enough and there is too much strain on supply chains. Analysts have said that it is currently very difficult for PC suppliers to get components even after many factories are working day in day out. They add that the 2021 sales forecasts would be higher if not for the supply issues.

Acer states that they have been flying their laptop supplies to its education customers, thus trying to shave off a month of shipping that it would take via trains and boats, still assembly lines are behind and many customers must wait four months to get shipments.

A Canalys analyst told Reuters that the “urgent need has subsided, but people now want to upgrade, maintaining pressure on the industry.”

Ryan Reith, vice president at IDC told Reuters, “additional government stimulus money for schools and businesses in several countries may add to the crunch until 2022.”

Considering that most laptops that will launch during the next year will address new needs and will come with upgraded hardware, especially with 5G just around the corner. We do not expect the strain on the PC industry to ease off any time soon.

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