- The PC market may have finally bottomed out after a prolonged post-pandemic contraction, according to a Monday report from analyst firm Gartner.
- Global shipments of desktop and laptop computers declined 9% year-over-year in Q3 2023, an improvement over the nearly 17% contraction manufacturers experienced in the previous quarter, the report said.
- “We expect the next quarter to see shipment growth, which will be the first year-on-year growth in two years,” Gartner Director Analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.
Worldwide shipments have steadily fallen by nearly 25% since Q3 2021, from 84.1 million units to just 64.3 million units in the three month period ending Sept. 30, according to Gartner.
The prolonged depression has roots in the pandemic. In the push to support a remote workforce, organizations stocked up on devices in 2020. When economic projections soured last year, laptops and PCs were among the victims of discretionary spending cuts.
But the market has begun to show signs of recovery, Kitagawa said.
“The business PC market is ready for the next replacement cycle, driven by the Windows 11 upgrades,” said Kitagawa. “Consumer PC demand should also begin to recover as PCs purchased during the pandemic are entering the early stages of a refresh cycle.”
HP Inc. was the first manufacturer to show signs of a rebound. The company saw shipments jump by 6.4% year over year in Q3. By contrast, three of the top vendors, namely Dell, Apple and ASUS, experienced double-digit declines, and market share leader Lenovo saw year-over-year shipments fall by 4.4%.
“HP's growth was largely due to the normalizing of inventory,” the report said.
As enterprise refresh cycles kick in, Apple may have an opportunity to gain market share over Windows-based PCs, Ryan Reith, group vice president for IDC’s worldwide mobile and consumer device trackers, said in an August report.
Speaking at the Jamf Nation Users Conference last month, Cisco SVP and CIO Fletcher Previn presented data from an internal company review, which found Macs to be more secure and less costly over time than Windows-based PCs.
The next generation of devices will bring new capabilities, as manufacturers infuse topline products with generative AI capabilities.
Dell, the company with the third-largest market share, said it will expand its deployment of on-prem generative AI to include PCs as well as its infrastructure and professional services offerings, in a July announcement.
“Generative AI could be a watershed moment for the PC industry," Linn Huang, research VP, Devices & Displays, said in an IDC report published Monday.
"While use cases have yet to be fully articulated, interest in the category is already strong,” Huang said. “As more of these devices launch next year, we expect a significant boost to overall selling prices."