Mac shipments skyrocket as pandemic drags on

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Mac shipments skyrocket as pandemic drags on
Mac demand was extremely strong in the first three months of 2021. The M-series processor almost certainly played a big role.
Photo: Apple

The pandemic continues to drive up demand for notebooks and desktops, and Mac shipments saw a triple-digit annual increase in Q1 2021 according to a market research firm. Apple also almost certainly also benefitted from the release of the first M-series computers near the end of 2020.

Mac shipments go up, up, up

All the top computer makers saw increases in their shipments during the January-through-March period, according to IDC. But none of them saw a higher percentage increase than Apple.

Mac shipments grew a whopping 111.5%, from 3,164,000 units in Q1 2020 to 6,692,000 units in the same period of 2021.

Lenovo’s shipments increased 59%, HP’s shot up 64% and Dell’s went up 23%. “Unfulfilled demand from the past year has carried forward into the first quarter and additional demand brought on by the pandemic has also continued to drive volume,” said Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst with IDC.

Rise of the M1 Macs

Macs have an advantage its rivals do not: the new Apple M1 processor. This is a chip Apple designed itself, and it offers impressive performance.

Consumers knew this change was coming for months, and many people likely held off Mac purchases in anticipation. When an M1-based MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and a Mac mini debuted near the end of autumn, it helped drive a 49% year-over-year increase on Mac shippments. And demand clearly carried over in the the first three. months of 2021.