PC market continues on downward spiral as global volumes drop
The downward spiral for PC shipments continued during the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23) as global volumes declined 7.6% year over year with 68.2 million PCs shipped, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.
Though demand and the global economy remain subdued, PC shipments have increased in each of the last two quarters, slowing the rate of annual decline and indicating that the market has moved past the bottom of the trough.
PC inventory has also become leaner in the past few months and is near healthy levels in most channels. However, downward pressure on pricing persists and will likely remain an issue within the consumer and business sectors, IDC states.
While most of the top 5 vendors experienced double-digit declines during the quarter, Apple's outsized decline was the result of unfavourable year-over-year comparisons as the company recovered from a COVID-related halt in production during 3Q22. Meanwhile, HP's growth was largely due to the normalising of inventory, IDC finds.
"The PC industry is on a slow path to recovery as a device refresh cycle and end of support for Windows 10 will help drive sales in the second half of 2024 and beyond. In the meantime, the PC industry will unfortunately experience more pain," says Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager for IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
"The slowness in the industry is giving the supply chain an opportunity to explore procurement and production options outside China and this will likely remain a key issue going forward, second only to the advancement of AI within PCs," Ubrani continues.
"Generative AI could be a watershed moment for the PC industry," says Linn Huang, Research Vice President, Devices & Displays at IDC. "While use cases have yet to be fully articulated, interest in the category is already strong."
"AI PCs promise organisations the ability to personalise the user experience at a deeper level all while being able to preserve data privacy and sovereignty. As more of these devices launch next year, we expect a significant boost to overall selling prices."
- Traditional PCs include Desktops, Notebooks, and Workstations and do not include Tablets or x86 Servers. Detachable Tablets and Slate Tablets are part of the Personal Computing Device Tracker but are not addressed in this review.
- Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports. Data for all companies are reported for calendar periods.
- Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the company/brand under which they are sold.
- IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker gathers detailed market data in over 90 countries. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis among other data.