The Desktop Is So Dead Sales Went Up By 13% Over The Past 12 Months

The Desktop Is So Dead Sales Went Up By 13% Over The Past 12 Months

Expansive Homes For Discrete GPUs Are Selling Very Well

The total sales of computers, including Apple, have increased by 13.2% over the past four quarters; a trend which has been going on about the same time that Windows 10 started to see widespread adoption and which grew as component supplies shrunk.   There are a number of reasons for this growth, the most pertinent for enthusiasts being the shortage of the discrete components we depend on to build our own custom machines. 

As we have had to report numerous times on the podcast, one of the only ways to get your hands on a new GPU is to buy an entire system and companies like Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo have benefited greatly from that.  Acer seems to have been very effective in dealing with this new situation, while they may have the lowest market share of the five major companies, they saw their sales increase an impressive 17.6% from Q1 of 2020.  The various boutique shops are doing even better, with a combined increase of over 20% of market share over the same period.

Apple and HP may have sold more units overall this past 12 months, but both saw their total market share drop slightly.  IDC suggests that this may soon be true of the others as well, as people and companies can only upgrade so many machines this generation and will be unlikely to want a new computer until the next generation of components arrives from Intel, AMD and NVIDIA.

The Register also noted that when you break the sales down, desktop sales are outpacing laptops by a larger margin than in the past; in all likelihood because laptops are much harder to find at the moment.  The fact that they can contain more powerful GPUs and CPUs may have something to do with that as well.

The PC market racked up another boom quarter in Q2 2021, but analyst firm IDC also found “mixed signals” about future demand.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.


  1. Ibrahim Khan Jadoon

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The entire market went up 13%, not desktops alone.

    That chart is desktops + laptops. Laptop sales are often 3x larger than desktop sales.

    Desktop sales *growth* outpaced laptops, but not absolute sales.

    Laptops: 260 million (52%)
    Laptops + Detachables + Tablets: 420 million (84%)
    Desktops: 80 million (16%)

    Sadly for us, desktops have been absolutely crushed by laptops and tablets. Desktops just don’t fit today’s market—not since laptops do what most consumers / businesses want in a single package.


    Desktops peaked in the late aughts / early 2010s, with 2010 reaching 157 million per year (a 96% increase over today).

    • Jeremy Hellstrom

      Cheers for reading the title … perhaps you could consider reading the quick post instead of linking to the exact same source The Register used?

      • ikjadoon

        Perhaps you can read the source article instead of relying on other outlets? The IDC summary is even shorter and much easier to parse:

        > IDC: Elevated demand for PCs combined with shortages that greatly impacted the supply of notebooks led to desktop growth outpacing that of notebooks during the quarter.

        >The Register: The analyst firm also spotted that desktop PC growth outpaced that of portable computers


        IDC only stated desktop growth % > laptop growth % within Q2 2021. Nothing about “desktops grew 13% over 12 months” can be determined from the IDC summary, as this headline claims, nor that desktop sales bounced back, as The Register’s headline claims.

        What you *can* deduce, as an example, from the IDC’s very specific quote:

        1 April 2021:
        Desktops sold 100 units
        Laptops sold 300 units

        30 June 2021
        Desktops sold 108 units (8% growth)
        Laptops sold 320 units (6.7% growth)

        IDC’s desktop quote is only referring to the past 3 months. The Register made the exact same error, though not as explicitly as PCPer. There is no way on this Green Earth that “desktop sales have bounced back” in any reality nor “grown by 13% over 12 months”.

        • ikjadoon

          If you have data otherwise, would love to see it. It’s tricky to find quarterly breakdowns between desktops & laptops without paying for IDC’s pricey report.


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