PC shipments continued to decline during the third quarter of 2023, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.
In its latest report, the tech market research firm said that global shipments declined 7.6 per cent year over year, with 68.2 million PCs shipped, and that downward pressure on pricing continues to be an issue within the consumer and business sectors. The tracker gathers detailed market data in over 90 countries and includes historical and forecast trend analysis.
Most of the top five vendors that IDC tracks experienced double-digit declines during the quarter, with Apple faring the worst and seeing an outsized decline of 23.1 per cent — a result of unfavorable year-over-year comparisons, as a company recovery from a COVID-related halt in production boosted shipments during the third quarter of 2022.
Meanwhile, HP was the only vendor to experience growth in the third quarter this year, up 6.4 per cent year-on-year, an outcome that IDC attributed largely to the normalising of the company’s inventory.
"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," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's mobility and consumer device trackers, in comments published alongside the report.
However, IDC seemed to indicate there were some bright spots, noting that while demand and the global economy remain subdued, PC shipments increased sequentially 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.
Generative AI could also be a watershed moment for the PC industry, IDC said, adding that while use cases have yet to be fully articulated, interest in the category is already strong, and that the next generation of PCs will be built with onboard generative AI engines.
“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,” said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices & Displays, at IDC. “As more of these devices launch next year, we expect a significant boost to overall selling prices."