The idea of having a computer in the home was once thought to be a pipe dream at best. Today computers, laptops, and tablet PCs are being owned in record numbers, even though mobile devices like smartphones and traditional tablets have dramatically cut into the market.
In 2014, more than 302 million computers were sold around the world.
Computer Sale Statistics
That number might not seem so impressive, but compare that to the computer market of 1975. In that year, just 50,000 computers were sold. With innovative upgrades like the Google Chromebook which can put a fully powered PC into a home for less than $200, this technology has become an integral part of life today.
- Global revenues for computer sales in 2014: $304 billion.
- 89.5 million computers were sold in the US in 2014. That’s 6 million fewer than what were sold in 2011, but nearly double what was sold in 2000.
- 4.1 billion computers have been sold all-time.
- 74% of the computer market is dedicated to units that are being manufactured for business purposes.
- The percentage of the computer market that comes from laptops: 16.4%.
- Computer servers account for 2.1% of the market.
- Almost 4 out of every 10 computers that are manufactured and shipped will go into an American home or business.
- Desktop shipments declined by 10% in 2014 when compared to 2013 data.
Americans love their computers. Europeans love computers as well – they account for 25% of the total market. As the middle class begins to see a rise in the APAC region over the next 5 years, however, these trends may shift. More than 800 million people are expected to enter the middle class and see an increase in their wealth and standard of living in the next 5 years. APAC makes up just 11.7% of the computer market today. With potentially 800 million people all wanting a computer, the softness in this market might just reverse.
What Brands Are Powering The Computer Market?
- Lenovo had the most computer sales for a single manufacturer in 2014, seeing 58 million computers shipped in total.
- 52 million. That’s the number of computers that HP was able to sell and ship in 2014.
- Dell came in third with 41 million units sold.
- Acer and Asus, the two top “discount” computer brands today, accounted for 24 million and 22 million units respectively – less than Lenovo when combined together.
- The computer market was able to beat projects: a loss of 2.4% was realized, but a 4.8% loss was expected.
- PC market concentration has increased to 83% of shipments coming from the top 5 vendors.
Top brands of the past, such as Gateway and E-machines, aren’t even on the radar of computer sales today. Some of them aren’t even in business any more. That’s how rapid the rise and fall of the computer market can be. Lenovo is dominating today because of their combination of quality and price. People go for discount brands to enter the computer market on a budget, but with online streaming and other benefits coming from faster processing speeds, eventually people are willing to spend a little more to get a little more.
How Big Is The Computer Market Today?
- In 2011, 75.6% of households reported having a computer, compared with only 8.2% in 1984.
- 71.7% of households reported accessing the Internet in 2011, up from 18.0% in 1997.
- The only year that computer use fell from 1984 to 2012 was in the final year. It has been declining since then as well.
- Internet use rates have stayed rather stable despite the declines in computer ownership because of the rising prevalence of tablets.
- 92% of metro-area households in Washington, DC own a computer, the largest saturation rate in the United States.
- 73% of U.S. households have a computer with a broadband connection to the internet.
- Only 5% of households exclusively rely on smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices for their ability to connect to the internet.
- 25 million households have no regular internet access at all.
- Among households with incomes below $20,000, most do not have an internet subscription for a computer.
- Even in tech-rich communities such as the Silicon Valley, up to 4% of households don’t own a computer.
There are two thoughts about computer technology these days. Some households emphasize early learning on computers because they are so relied upon for business these days. Others are purposely shielding children from computers and other forms of technology so that it doesn’t become an early addiction. Up to 1 in 5 Americans who has a computer or mobile device that can access the internet are actually addicted to using their technology. Although there are worse things to be addicted to in this life, computers still can ruin relationships, cause isolation, and other social problems. These negatives may be contributing to the softness seen in the computer market.
What Is The Future Of The Computer Market?
- Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all notebook sales in 2013, the last year complete sales data is available, and 8% of all compute sales.
- Windows tablet sales nearly tripled, but Windows notebooks showed no significant growth whatsoever.
- Sales of Microsoft Surface tablet PCs more than doubled both year over year and sequentially, to $908 million in Q1 2014. Despite this, however, Microsoft has so far lost $1.7 billion on the Microsoft Surface project.
- By the end of 2016, tablet PC sales are expected to exceed 60 million units globally.
- When combined with all computing solutions, including tablets and smartphones, more than 3 billion units are expected to be sold by the end of the year 2017.
- By the end of 2015, unit tablet sales are projected to come in at 337.8 million, eclipsing combined desktop and laptop sales of 292.2 million. More than 80% of unit tablet sales are expected to be equipped with an Android O/S.
The computer market needs some innovation in order to survive. The Microsoft Surface offers a glimpse of this, but the $200 optional docking station to turn the tablet into a tablet PC doesn’t fit in with what every customer wants. Affordable computers look to be the future of the market, but only if innovation and usefulness can keep pace. The days of a 1 TB hard drive and advanced processing are going to be gone in the discount market, substituted with Cloud computing, apps, and minimal storage space. The new computer isn’t going to store music, photographs, or games. It’s going to stream them.