- Worldwide PC shipments declined by 16.6% year over year during the three-month period ending June 30, according to Gartner’s analysis of preliminary statistics. The U.S. market was more robust, declining by only 8.6% in Q2, the Tuesday report said.
- Global shipments grew 8% from the previous quarter, the first sign of stabilization following a seven-quarter production slump. Shipments were down 30% year over year in Q1.
- Shipment volumes may have reached their lowest point, according to Mikako Kitagawa, director analyst at Gartner. The firm projects PC inventory "will normalize by the end of 2023, and PC demand will return to growth starting in 2024,” Kitagawa said.
The PC industry’s pandemic-induced rollercoaster ride showed signs of leveling out in Q2, as more favorable economic conditions put the brakes on cautious purchasing behavior and enterprise demand rebounded.
A 2020 boom to support remote workers gave way to an inevitable contraction, exacerbated last year by the triple threat of runaway inflation, global supply chain disruptions and interest rate hikes.
Favorable component pricing conditions and availability helped spur a market rebound, the report said.
“PC component prices and availability have improved drastically, helping stabilize vendor profitability despite the pricing pressure to clear inventory,” Kitagawa said.
The trend may turn around if demand for memory, SSD storage and other components pushes up on prices in the next few months and mixed signals persist.
While many component suppliers have reduced prices to clear inventory, PC makers remain hesitant to bet big on a market rebound, according to a Monday report from IDC, which found a 13.4% year-over-year decline in device shipments.
But progress in reducing a more than year-long inventory surplus, as well as looming device refresh deadlines, should buoy near-term demand, according to Kitagawa.
The rosy picture is clouded by sluggish recovery among global consumers, as well as with European, Asian Pacific and African enterprise customers.
“The disruptive business outlook is limiting business PC spending in [Europe, the Middle East and Africa], as companies reduce PC budgets as a cost management strategy,” said Kitagawa.
Shipments in the Asia Pacific market were down 27% year over year, a reflection of low consumer demand and economic uncertainty in China, the report said.