Summary: The global PC market exceeded expectations in the third quarter of 2023, but is expected to decline in the following years due to various factors, with a projected rebound in 2024 and continued growth beyond that.
- The global PC market exceeded expectations in the third quarter of 2023, with shipments totaling 68.5 million units.
- The PC market is expected to experience a rebound in 2024 and beyond, with growth projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels by 2027.
- Notebooks are already at higher levels than in 2019, indicating significant expansion in the notebook market even after the surge in COVID-induced purchases has subsided.
The global PC market exceeded expectations in the third quarter of 2023, with shipments totaling 68.5 million units, as reported by the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. However, this volume still saw a decline of 7.2% compared to the same quarter in 2022. While the PC market outperformed initial forecasts, various factors influenced this performance.
One contributing factor to the increased volume was inventory restocking, particularly on the consumer side. Additionally, there was a notable effort to address anticipated cost escalations, such as expected increases in India import duties. Although these duties were later suspended, concerns surrounding them led to a higher absorption of units by the channel than necessary. Furthermore, tightened IT budgets resulted in underperformance of business PC units against an already conservative commercial forecast.
Given the current conditions and a fragile macroeconomic environment, IDC has adjusted its forecast for the worldwide PC market. Shipment volume in 2023 is now expected to decline by 13.8% compared to 2022, which itself saw a decline of 16.6% from the previous year. This marks an unprecedented trend of two consecutive years of double-digit year-over-year drops in the PC market. However, this downturn is likely to contribute to a recovery in the subsequent years.
Despite the short-term challenges, IDC anticipates a market rebound in 2024 and beyond, with several factors converging within the next two years. One of the main drivers of growth will be the PC refresh cycle, as the aging installed base of commercial PCs reaching the four-year mark by 2024 will necessitate a refresh, coinciding with the demand to migrate to Windows 11. The total PC market in 2024 is expected to experience a growth of 3.4% compared to 2023.
Another catalyst for upgrades will be the integration of AI capabilities into PCs, which is set to hit the market in 2024, initially targeting certain segments of the enterprise PC market. Over time, as use cases advance and costs reduce, this integration is likely to spread to the broader market.
Furthermore, the continued evolution and recovery of the consumer installed base will contribute to the overall growth of the PC market. With these factors at play, 2024 is expected to be a pivotal year, offering relief from the recent challenges. Beyond 2024, growth is projected to surpass pre-pandemic shipment levels and reach 285 million units by 2027.
Jay Chou, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, provided historical context to offer consolation amidst the current tough period for the PC ecosystem. He highlighted that while there are expectations of eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year volume declines from Q1 2022 through Q4 2023, it pales in comparison to the 19 consecutive quarters of year-over-year PC declines from Q2 2012 to Q4 2016. Chou also noted that notebooks are already at higher levels than in 2019, indicating significant expansion in the notebook market even after the surge in COVID-induced purchases has subsided. IDC maintains its belief that factors like hybrid work, commercial refresh, and growth in premium PCs can lead to a compound annual growth rate of 3.1% from 2023 through 2027.
It is important to note that traditional PCs, including desktops, notebooks, and workstations, are considered in these figures, while Tablets and x86 servers are not included. Detachable tablets and slate tablets are part of the Personal Computing Device Tracker but are not specifically addressed in this press release.
About IDC: IDC, or International Data Corporation, is a global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. Established in 1964, IDC offers valuable insights into industry trends, market forecasts, and technology adoption through its research and analysis. Their expertise aids businesses, governments, and IT professionals in making informed decisions and strategies.IDC Website: https://www.idc.com
IDC LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/idc
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