With the work-from-home trend expected to continue after the COVID-19 crisis, sales of digital devices are showing strong increase. The number of devices – PCs (laptops and desk-based), tablets and mobile phones – in use globally will total 6.2 billion units in 2021, according to research and marketing company Gartner. 125 million more laptops and tablets are expected to be in use this year compared to 2020.
Gartner said the integration of personal and business lives, together with a much more dispersed workforce requires flexibility of device choice. “Workers are increasingly using a mix of company-owned devices and their own personal devices running on Chrome, iOS and Android, which is increasing the complexity of IT service and support.”
“The covid-19 pandemic has permanently changed device usage patterns of employees and consumers,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner. “With remote work turning into hybrid work, home education changing into digital education and interactive gaming moving to the cloud, both the types and number of devices people need, have and use will continue to rise.”
In 2022, global devices installed base is predicted to reach 6.4 billion units, up 3.2% from 2021.
“While the shift to remote work exacerbated the decline of desktop PCs, it boosted the use of tablets and laptops. In 2021, the number of laptops and tablets in use will increase 8.8% and 11.7%, respectively, while the number of desk-based PCs in use is expected to decline from 522 million in use in 2020 to a forecasted 470 million in use in 2022”, Gartner said in a forecast.
Users’ confidence is returning in the smartphone market. Although the number of smartphones in use declined 2.6% in 2020, smartphone installed base is on pace to return to growth with a 1% increase in 2021.
“With more variety and choice, and lower-priced 5G smartphones to choose from, consumers have begun to either upgrade their smartphones or upgrade from feature phones. The smartphone is also a key tool that people use to communicate and share moments during social distancing and social isolation”, Atwal said.