In brief: The global PC market is set to rebound in 2024 following a significant slump the past couple of years. According to International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Device Tracker, PC shipments reached 68.5 million units in the third quarter. That is down 7.2 percent compared to the same quarter a year earlier but still better than expectations.
Given the latest numbers, current conditions, and the weak macroeconomic environment, IDC has adjusted its full year shipment forecast accordingly. The firm now expects total 2023 shipments to decline 13.8 percent compared to 2022, which itself was down 16.6 percent versus the previous year (the pandemic boom). The education segment will be hit the hardest, with shipments expected to fall 15.4 percent year over year. The commercial segment, meanwhile, is forecasted to dip 12.2 percent this year compared to last.
Jay Chou, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, said they still expect eight consecutive quarters of quarter-over-quarter declines through Q4 2023 but that pales in comparison to the 19 quarters of successive declines that occurred between the second quarter of 2012 through Q4 2016.
That said, IDC expects the PC market to recover in 2024 and beyond thanks to a combination of growth drivers.
The market research firm pointed to a growing install base of aging commercial PCs that will need a refresh sooner than later. This will coincide with the pressing demand to migrate to Windows 11, IDC said, and should help the market see growth of around 3.4 percent next year compared to 2023.
IDC also expects AI PCs to be a significant growth driver. PCs with AI capabilities will likely target the enterprise market first before eventually turning to the broader consumer market once use cases evolve and costs come down. The arrival of Windows 12 could also help matters.
The continued evolution of the consumer market in general will also help contribute to the rebound and could position 2024 as a pivotal year for PCs.