PC sales surged in the June quarter, driven by higher demand from workers and students forced to study and work from home amid the coronavirus, according to preliminary data from two industry-research firms.
Global PC shipments rose 11% to 72.3 million in the quarter, with the U.S. posting its highest quarterly-shipment volume in more than a decade, according to preliminary data from International Data Corp (IDC) and Gartner.
"The strong demand driven by work-from-home as well as e-learning needs has surpassed previous expectations and has once again put the PC at the center of consumers' tech portfolio," said IDC Mobile Device Trackers research manager Jitesh Ubrani.
"What remains to be seen is if this demand and high level of usage continues during a recession and into the post-COVID world since budgets are shrinking while schools and workplaces reopen."
Both market trackers ranked HP and Lenovo as the top two PC makers, with Dell in third place. Apple, which doesn't use Microsoft's Windows operating system but is nevertheless grouped among PC makers, came in fourth.
Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa described the second-quarter figures as a short-term recovery, with some of the growth due to distributors and shops restocking supplies as they become available.
Early indicators suggest strong PC shipments for education, business, and consumer uses such as streaming entertainment, according to IDC's devices and displays research vice president Linn Huang.
"With inventory still back-ordered, this goodwill will continue into July," Huang said.
"However, as we head deeper into a global recession, the goodwill sentiment will increasingly sour."