The PC market grew 14.8% in 2021, shipping the largest number of desktops, laptops, and workstations in a single year since 2012, according to data tracker IDC.
Shipments were up over 34% from the industry's low point in 2017, to 349 million units, according to preliminary data provided by IDC.
It's a noteworthy recovery for a sector that had been written off by tech investors and operators as a sleepy field in decline as recently as a few years ago as smartphones became the most important and highest-volume product in the electronics business.
The recovery has been driven by lockdowns and the rise in remote work and learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, as households purchased new laptops and PCs for schoolchildren in virtual classes and businesses bought equipment for employees working from home.
The recovery also happened in a year that was marked by temporary shortages in PCs, especially during the fall, driven by supply constraints from a global chip shortage.
Some observers cautioned that the sales pace would not be sustainable after the pandemic ebbs. In December, for example, IDC said the market had pulled passed peak pandemic demand and forecast a slowdown in 2022.
But some market participants remain optimistic that PC sales will continue on their current trajectory.