Business

Japan's domestic PC shipments surge 37% on telework, tax hike and end of Windows 7 support

Kyodo

Domestic shipments of personal computers surged 37.4 percent in 2019, sparked by demand created from an increase in teleworking and people and companies replacing their Windows 7 operating systems, which Microsoft stopped supporting last week, an industry body said Wednesday.

PC shipments totaled 9.74 million last year, up from 7.08 million in 2018, and were also aided by last-minute buying ahead of the consumption tax hike on Oct. 1, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association said.

The increase compares with a 4.5 percent rise in 2018, and followed a drop for five straight years through 2017 as consumer demand shifted to smartphones.

“It will be difficult to surpass the figure of 2019, but we’re hoping demand for teleworking and that related to education will support overall demand,” an association spokesman said.

Shipments of desktop computers jumped 49.4 percent to 2.58 million in 2019 while those of laptop computers were up 33.6 percent to 7.15 million. Shipments by value stood at ¥912.6 billion ($8.30 billion), up 36.7 percent from the previous year.

An estimated 13.9 million computers in Japan were using Windows 7 before Microsoft Corp. stopped providing free support for the operating system on Jan. 14. The termination prompted many corporate users to buy new computers to protect against possible viruses or the hacking of personal data.

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