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Notebooks Driving Growth in Computing Devices as Tablets Decline

The computing device market is seeing slower-than-expected growth this year, owing largely to shortages caused by the public policy response to the pandemic. Nevertheless, overall growth in 2021 will be positive, according to a new report. However, that growth will continue to slow through 2025, with tablets actually going seeing negative growth. Education is one of the positive drivers.

According to market research firm IDC, 2021 will see the highest annual year-over-year growth for the next five years for computing devices worldwide. Traditional PCs (notebooks, desktops and workstations) will grow 14.2% in 2021 to 347 million units. (That's down from a previous forecast of 18%.) Tablets will grow just 3.4%.

After 2021, tablets will enter a period of decline, with the steepest decline expected in 2022 and more modest decline through 2025. Desktops will also enter a period of decline starting in 2021 and continuing through 2025. Compound annual growth (CAGR) for tablets from 2021 to 2025 is expected to be –1.5%. For traditional PCs, including desktops, notebooks and workstations, CAGR will be 3.4%.

"We continue to believe the PC and tablet markets are supply constrained and that demand is still there," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in prepared statement. "The lengthening of the supply shortages combined with ongoing logistical issues are presenting the industry with some big challenges. However, we believe the vast majority of PC demand is non-perishable, especially from the business and education sectors."

For more information, visit IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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