PC sales growth in Philippines to slow after pandemic but remain robust: IDC

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2022 07:30 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2022 08:05 PM

Delivery riders prepare a laptop behind stacks of purchased laptops for upgrades covering the premises of a store in Gilmore Avenue, a known hub for desktop computers and laptops, in Quezon City on May 30, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Delivery riders prepare a laptop behind stacks of purchased laptops for upgrades covering the premises of a store in Gilmore Avenue, a known hub for desktop computers and laptops, in Quezon City on May 30, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Sales of PCs in the Philippines are expected to remain robust in the coming years, though not as strong as during the pandemic, industry tracker IDC said on Wednesday. 

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in PC sales worldwide from 2020 to 2021, IDC said during an online briefing on the state of the Philippine PC market. 

“The requirement of working from home, schools being shut and students doing online classes, as well as the boredom that ensued following lockdowns, spurred tremendous growth in demand for personal computers,” said IDC senior research manager Maciek Gornicki. 

From just 268 million units in 2019, worldwide PC shipments hit 304 million in 2020, and more than 349 million in 2021, IDC said. 

IDC said the bulk of PC demand was for laptops, as workers and students stayed at home. But it also noted an increase in sales of laptops that were geared towards gaming. 

In the Philippines, PC sales reached a record 2.85 million units last year, up from 2.28 million in 2020 and 2.18 million in 2019. IDC said 60 percent of those who bought laptops said they would use them for work, while 30 percent said they would use them for their studies. 

“The growth was strongest in the consumer segment where a lot of pent-up demand was fulfilled for online learning and work-from-home,” Gornicki said. 

In the consumer notebook sector, Acer had a 30 percent market, IDC said.

Sales of gaming PCs also skyrocketed in the Philippines during the pandemic from less than a hundred thousand units in 2019 to 241,000 units in 202, with Acer dominating the category, followed by Asus.

Acer grabbed a 27 percent share of new PC purchases in 2021, followed by Lenovo, Dell, Asus and HP, IDC said. 

The Taiwanese tech giant also had a 31 percent market share in the consumer branded desktop category in 2021 as it dominated the consumer all-in-one desktop category with a 52 percent market share. 

IDC however also noted that the pandemic also disrupted PC shipments, as lockdowns in several countries meant that containers couldn’t move. The supply chain for components was also squeezed. 

“We in Acer actually saw a demand [that was] four times that of previous demand, or four times that of what we could supply back in 2020,” said Sue Ong-Lim, Acer Philippines General Manager.

“While the demand was strong beyond our expectations, due to online learning and work-from-home needs, including notebook PCs, Chromebooks, monitors and others, we did our best to fulfill them,” Ong-Lim said. 

IDC said PC demand is expected to remain robust this year as uncertainty about future pandemic outbreaks means businesses, schools and consumers will want to be ready for another lockdown. 

PC penetration in the Philippines is also “still very very low” compared to its peers in the Asia Pacific region, IDC said. 

“This creates tremendous opportunities for the future,” Gornicki said.
 
But IDC also noted that sales growth rates seen during the pandemic may not be equaled going forward.

The industry tracker said the opening of the economy following an increase in vaccination rates will divert consumer spending to other areas. 

The spike in demand seen during the pandemic is not sustainable either in the long term as many have already bought their devices for online work and learning, IDC said. 

But the push towards digitalization of business, which was accelerated by the pandemic, will also drive more spending on PCs from the private sector, IDC said. 

“We believe that dependence on PCs will continue. There is no going back to the way we were before,” said Ong-Lim. 

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