PCs to mark two consecutive years of double-digit declines by the end of 2023

IDC expects PC shipments to decline by 13.8% compared to 2022, which saw a 16.6% drop.

The PC market will end 2023 with a sour taste in its mouth. During the third quarter, PC shipments fell by 7.2% to 68.5 million units.

While this is better than expected, it still leads to a negative year-end. In fact, IDC has revised its forecast and now believes that annual volume will be down 13.8 percent from 2022, when it saw a 16.6 percent drop. This will add two years of double-digit declines in what is “an unprecedented trend”.

“Perhaps the historical context can offer some consolation for the hard struggle the PC ecosystem is going through. While we still expect eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year volume declines, between Q1 2022 and Q4 2023, this pales in comparison to the nineteen consecutive quarters of year-over-year PC declines from Q2 2012 through Q4 2016,” notes Jay Chou, research director for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.

“Moreover,” he adds, “notebooks are already at higher levels than they were in 2019, indicating considerable expansion in the notebook market, even after [the COVID pandemic]-induced purchases have subsided.”

“We maintain that factors such as hybrid work, commercial refurbishment and premium PC growth may lead to a compound annual growth rate of 3.1% from 2023 to 2027″, concludes Chou.

IDC expects a market recovery as early as 2024, driven by migrations to the Windows 11 operating system, the integration of artificial intelligence capabilities into PCs and the recovery of the installed base among consumers. A full recovery is expected in subsequent years, with shipment growth rates higher than before the health crisis. This should culminate in 285 million units in 2027.