According to the latest figures from global market intelligence firm IDC, the Australian PC market – including desktops, notebooks and workstations – grew by 5.2% year-on-year in Q1 2020, totalling 1.039 million units.

This growth was led by surging demand for notebooks late in the quarter, after COVID-19 lockdowns commenced. In Q1 notebook sales rose by 5.5% year-on-year to total 744,000.

“We expect increased demand for notebooks to continue well into the second quarter of the year, with lockdowns continuing, more people working from home, and migration to online learning,” said Reynard Lowell, IDC Australia’s Associate Market Analyst for PC devices.

Earlier in the year there was also a higher number of PC refreshes, related to Windows 10 migration. However, PC demand dropped off later in the quarter, in part due to COVID-19 supply disruptions.

“Notebooks will continue to take share from desktops, especially in the commercial segment, as more people are working from home. This may result in declining desktop shares in the future, as new refreshes will likely be on the same form factor,” said Lowell.

“Furthermore, businesses may realise that notebooks can be as powerful as desktops, with the added benefit of portability, which may be preferable in a post-pandemic era, where more companies adopt a more flexible remote work culture.”

Despite the growth in the Australian market in Q1, and the forecasted growth of 2.9% year-on-year in Q2, IDC still expects the PC market to contract overall in 2020. This is largely due to demand being brought forward in the first half of the year resulting in a weaker second half.

“Challenging times lay ahead, with a series of potential economic repercussions. Stimulus winding down, delayed corporate expenditure, and unemployment will negatively impact the market,” said Lowell.