The pandemic and its two economic faces. On the one hand, that of businesses such as tourism and hospitality, which are the major victims of the confinements. On the other, that of the technology sector, which has seen a spectacular resurgence in PC and laptop sales.
This has had a very positive impact for manufacturers, but also for the major players in the sector. Microsoft, Intel and especially AMD have reaped spectacular fiscal results after the impact of the confinements that have had us teleworking or studying from home. Suddenly everyone needed a PC.
It was post-what?
The emergence and resounding success of smartphones and tablets caused many to kill the PC before their time. Theoretically, this era “post PC” began. —A first-rate fallacy — that condemned desktops and laptops to ostracism and an increasingly weakened background.
Sales of PCs and laptops certainly suffered: the decline was steady and clear, and although there were occasional upsurges in sales, the trend has been evident for years. PCs didn’t matter that much anymore, but contrary to what many people said, that did not mean that the PC was (far from it) dead and buried.
The truth is that PCs have never stopped importing. It is true that the mobile phone has become for many a substitute for the computer in many scenarios, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything.
The largest telecommuting experiment in history has suddenly (almost) everyone needs a PC or laptop to work or study from home.
The lockdowns have only boosted the sale of PCs, and manufacturers have been subjected to a lawsuit they could hardly cope with– PCs were taken from their hands almost literally.
All of these manufacturers have benefited from this huge demand for PCs and laptops, but on top of them there have been three clear examples from the impact of a pandemic that has made the PC resurface like a peculiar phoenix.
Microsoft, Intel and AMD as big winners
These three companies have presented fiscal results for the first quarter of 2021, and all of them make it clear that the pandemic has been an unintended (and tragic) help for your dedicated PC divisions.
The PCG division of Intel grew 8% compared to the first quarter of 2020 and it entered 10.600 million dollars. Pat Gelsinger explained in fact that things will stay that way in the coming months and that 2021 is shaping up to be the biggest in PC sales in all of history.
At Microsoft, the bet is on services, of course, but the truth is that its division Surface not bad at all. Revenues from these products grew 12%, and they were part of a spectacular 19% global business growth to global first quarter revenue of $ 41.7 billion.
But the biggest beneficiary here has undoubtedly been AMD, whose income has increased by 93% (or what is the same, they have almost doubled) from one year to the next. That is nothing if we take into account that its Computing and Graphics division (responsible for the Ryzen and Radeon) has grown 46% compared to the same period last year.
Of course in the case of AMD there are not many surprises: the firm had an imperial 2020 in which the launch of their Ryzen 4000 and Ryzen 5000 have turned the tables. Intel, which had rested on its laurels and was in danger, seems to have finally reacted with the change of CEO, but it is clear that the company led by Lisa Su is doing very well.
This spectacular moment that the PC market is going through is also less spectacular than it should be: the shortage of chips has caused many manufacturers to have inventory and supply issues, which has undoubtedly slowed down some already fantastic sales. The best of all (for these companies) is that everything indicates that the demand will not decrease in the coming months.