Preliminary data from the International Data Corp. (IDC), a market intelligence firm, reveals a decline in PC shipments in the third quarter of 2023. However, this downtrend comes after two consecutive quarters of increased PC shipments, which slowed the annual decline rate.
The IDC reports a global decrease of 7.6% year over year (YoY) in PC shipments, with 68.2 million PCs shipped in the third quarter.
“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,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “In the meantime, the PC industry will unfortunately experience more pain.”
However, the market is showing signs of improvement, with PC shipments having increased in each of the last two quarters, indicating that the market may have passed the lowest point of its decline.
Double-digit decline among vendors
In recent months, PC inventory has become leaner, approaching healthy levels in most channels. Yet, IDC remains cautious as downward pricing pressures persist, particularly in the consumer and business sectors.
“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 said.
Despite most of the top five vendors experiencing double-digit declines during the quarter, Apple’s pronounced decline can be attributed to unfavorable year-over-year comparisons as the company rebounded from a COVID-related production halt in 3Q22. In contrast, HP’s growth primarily stems from inventory normalization.
“Generative AI could be a watershed moment for the PC industry,” said Linn Huang, research vice president of Devices & Displays at IDC. “While use cases have yet to be fully articulated, interest in the category is already strong. AI PCs promise organizations the ability to personalize 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.”