In the third quarter of 2023, the global PC market saw shipments totaling 68.5 million units, surpassing initial predictions but still marking a 7.2% decrease compared to the same period in 2022, according to the International Data Corp. (IDC).
According to IDC data, the upsurge in volume was driven in part by inventory restocking, primarily on the consumer side. Concerns regarding anticipated cost escalations, such as the initially expected increases in India import duties (later suspended), resulted in an excess absorption of units by the channel. The market intelligence firm highlighted that constrained IT budgets contributed to underperformance in business PC units, aligning with already conservative commercial forecasts.
“While we still expect eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year volume declines from Q1 2022 through Q4 2023, it still pales to the 19 consecutive quarters of year-over-year PC declines from Q2 2012 to Q4 2016,” said Jay Chou, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
IDC: PC shipments continue to decline in third quarter
PC shipments continue to drop due to poor demand — IDC
Considering the fragile macroeconomic environment, IDC has adjusted its forecast for the global PC market, anticipating a 13.8% decline in shipment volume for 2023 compared to 2022, which itself saw a 16.6% drop from the previous year.
“This consecutive double-digit decline is unprecedented in the PC market but is likely to set the stage for recovery,” IDC said.
Despite short-term challenges, IDC expects a market rebound in 2024. Several factors converge in the next two years contributing to this, including:
PC Refresh Cycle: The large aging base of commercial PCs hitting the four-year mark by 2024 will drive a refresh, aligning with the growing demand to transition to Windows 11. The total PC market in 2024 is forecasted to grow by 3.4% compared to 2023.
AI Integration: AI capabilities integrated into PCs, initially targeting certain segments of the enterprise market in 2024, are expected to stimulate upgrades. Over time, as use cases advance and costs reduce, this integration could spread to a broader market.
Continued Consumer Base Evolution and Recovery: Ongoing evolution and recovery of the consumer installed base will also play a role in market resurgence.
Beyond 2024, growth is anticipated to exceed pre-pandemic shipment levels, culminating in an estimated 285 million units by 2027, the IDC said.