The Mac grew more than any other PC brand in 2021

24-inch iMac in blue
24-inch iMac in blue (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple experienced the highest growth out of every PC brand in 2021.
  • The company experienced 28.3% growth and shipped 29 million Macs last year.
  • Apple is still in fourth place behind Lenovo, HP, and Dell.

Apple led the growth of the worldwide PC market in 2021.

In a new report from analytics firm Canalys, Apple experienced the highest growth in the full year of 2021 when it came to PC shipments. According to the report, the company experienced Q4 2021 growth of 9.0% and full-year growth of 28.3%. This made it the highest growing brand in the PC market last year. The company shipped 7.8 million Macs in Q4 2021 and 29.0 million Macs for the full year.

Despite its growth, Apple is still in fourth place behind the big three PC brands: Lenovo, HP, and Dell. They are, however, now bigger than Acer.

Ishan Dutt, the Senior Analyst at Canalys, said that the PC market is making its way to new users over the pandemic and that both "young students and older family members" are getting their first PCs. Some people are even adding an additional PC to their home to support remote education and work.

"2021 was a watershed year in the history of the PC market, with the PC's place at the center of work, learning and leisure truly cemented. For the market to post double-digit growth over an impressive 2020, despite the constant cloud of supply constraints, speaks volumes about how strong PC demand has been over the last 12 months. Taking a long-term view, the most important developments in 2021 were the large increases in PC penetration and usage rates. PCs are now in the hands of both young students and older family members, while ownership of two or more PCs per person has become more common in developed markets. Since the onset of the pandemic, a larger than normal proportion of PCs shipped have been new additions to the installed base rather than replacement devices, especially in areas such as education and remote work. This has set the stage for continued success for the PC industry as there is no turning back from how embedded they are in our day-to-day lives."

Canalys Principal Analyst Rushabh Doshi said that 2022 will be "the year of digital acceleration." He also said that consumer spending patterns are shifting towards more premium computers and accessories that help us work remotely more effectively.

"While 2021 was the year of digital transformation, 2022 will be the year of digital acceleration. Demand for technology has boomed in the past two years, the effects of which continue to disrupt the supply chain, affecting not just availability of PCs, but also smartphones, automobiles and servers. As PC vendors navigate an ever more complicated situation, consumer spending patterns are shifting. We will see revenue growth in the industry from spending on premium PCs, monitors, accessories and other technology products that enable us to work from anywhere, collaborate around the world and remain ultra-productive. The importance of faster, better, more resilient and more secure PCs has never been greater, and the industry is willing to innovate and push the boundaries to keep this momentum going."

Apple has released some notable updates to its Mac lineup this year. The company released the redesigned iMac and MacBook Pro while also introducing its M1 Pro and M1 Max processors.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.