Tech

PC market decline slows in Q3 as recovery signs emerge

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The global PC market experienced another quarter of decline in Q3 2023, according to new data from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

According to an Oct. 9 IDC report, shipments of traditional PCs, including desktops, laptops, and workstations, fell 7.6% year-over-year to 68.2 million units. This marks the third straight quarter of shipment declines as the market continues to face economic headwinds.

However, IDC analysts say there are signs the market may be bottoming out. While shipments were down, the rate of decline has slowed compared to the first two quarters of 2023. PC inventory levels have also improved across most sales channels, indicating supply and demand are rebalancing. Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, explained:

“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. […] 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.”

The top PC vendor worldwide remained Lenovo, with 16 million units shipped and a 23.5% market share. HP Inc. was the only vendor in the top 5 to see positive growth, with shipments up 6.4% to 13.5 million thanks to inventory normalization. Dell saw a steep 14.3% decline due to weak commercial demand.

Apple experienced the most significant drop at 23.1%, but IDC said this was mainly due to supply constraints in Q3 2022 that led to favorable year-ago comparisons. Asus rounded out the top 5 with a 10.7% shipment decline.

Looking ahead, IDC predicts coming “generative AI” capabilities and the end of support for Windows 10 in 2025 will help reinvigorate PC sales — a clear nod to the recently introduced Windows AI features. AI features like personalized experiences while maintaining privacy could make PCs more compelling upgrades. The analysts say enterprise Windows 10 migrations will also drive commercial refresh cycles.

Supply chain diversification away from China is another key trend IDC is tracking due to geopolitical pressures. While this shift will take time, it could lead to more regionalized manufacturing and procurement over the next few years.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Liza Summer; Pexels; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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