PC Sales Continue Surging — And That’s Good News for Intel, AMD and Others

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PC sales remain on the upswing thanks to purchases made to support remote workers and learners. And it looks as if there’s still a lot of pent-up demand going into the holiday season.

Research firm IDC estimates PC shipments rose 14.6% annually in Q3 to 81.3 million. That compares with 11.2% shipment growth in Q2, and just 2.7% growth in 2019.

Officially, Gartner estimates PC shipments rose just 3.6% to 71.4 million. However, when including Chromebook sales (counted in IDC’s official estimate), Gartner’s estimate for shipment growth rises to 9%.

Along with Chromebooks, Q3 was a strong quarter for gaming PCs and (in certain cases) notebooks with cellular modems, according to IDC. On the flip side, desktop demand was said to be weak in the U.S. and EMEA. Desktop PC sales depend heavily on purchases made to support corporate offices, many of which are of course empty right now.

Demand for gaming products has been strong pretty much across the board in recent months: In September, supplies of graphics cards based on Nvidia’s  (NVDA) – Get Report new GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 gaming GPUs quickly sold out at major retailers, and Sony  (SNE) – Get Report and Microsoft  (MSFT) – Get Report both saw strong pre-orders for their next-gen consoles.

Between them, top-3 PC OEMs Lenovo, HP  (HPQ) – Get Report and Dell Technologies  (DELL) – Get Report accounted for 61.5% of Q3 shipments, per IDC. Lenovo and HP’s shipments were each estimated to be up more than 11%, while Dell’s shipments, which skew heavily towards corporate buyers, were estimated to have dropped slightly.

Apple  (AAPL) – Get Report, whose Mac revenue rose 22% annually during its June quarter, was estimated to have an 8.5% unit

Facebook bans all QAnon groups as dangerous amid surging misinformation

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A person wearing a t-shirt supportive of QAnon participates in a “Back the Blue” rally in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S. August 9, 2020.

Stephanie Keith | Reuters

Facebook on Tuesday classified the QAnon conspiracy theory movement as dangerous and began removing Facebook groups and pages as well as Instagram accounts that hold themselves out as representatives.

The step escalates an August policy that banned a third of QAnon groups here for promoting violence while allowing most to stay, albeit with content appearing less often in news feeds. Instead of relying on user reports, Facebook staff now will treat QAnon like other militarized bodies, seeking out and deleting groups and pages, the company said in a blog post here.

Since the August restrictions, some QAnon groups have added members, and others used coded language to evade detection, for example referring to “cue” instead of Q. Meanwhile, adherents have worked to integrate themselves in other groups, such as those concerned with child safety and those critical of restrictions on gatherings due to the coronavirus, according to researchers at Facebook and elsewhere.

“While we’ve removed QAnon content that celebrates and supports violence, we’ve seen other QAnon content tied to different forms of real world harm, including recent claims that the west coast wildfires were started by certain groups,” Facebook wrote.

“QAnon messaging changes very quickly and we see networks of supporters build an audience with one message and then quickly pivot to another.”

Recent QAnon posts have spread false information about voting and about Covid-19, researchers said, even claiming that President Donald Trump faked his diagnosis of Covid-19 in order to orchestrate secret arrests.

Classed as a potential source of domestic terrorism by the FBI, QAnon is driven by an anonymous internet poster nicknamed Q who claims