Global PC sales drop 14% in 2023 after weak commercial and consumer demand

Chinese manufacturer Lenovo led the market with 24% market share

AI-powered PCs are expected to constitute 50 per cent of the overall market share next year. Reuters
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Global shipments of personal computers dropped 14 per cent on an annual basis in 2023 as a result of a slowdown in demand from commercial and consumer sectors, according to a new report by Counterpoint Research.

Although there were several product launches in the second half of last year, they did not contribute to sales because most of them will not start shipping until 2024.

Chinese manufacturer Lenovo and its US counterpart Hewlett-Packard led the market with 24 per cent and 21 per cent market shares, respectively, according to the Hong Kong-based researcher, which did not reveal exact shipment numbers for 2023.

They were followed by Dell (16 per cent market share) and Apple (9 per cent).

PC manufacturers’ rankings were unchanged throughout 2023 “as soft demand and inventory digestions held back shipment performance across the market”, the report said.

“However, we still saw different growth trajectories of top PC vendors. Lenovo and HP both had around mid-single-digit year-on-year shipment growth in fourth quarter of 2023 thanks to market recovery and warm restocking momentum in North America,” it added.

PC shipments growth dropped 0.2 per cent annually to 65.1 million units in the fourth quarter of last year. This was the eighth consecutive quarter to record a year-on-year shipment decline.

Lenovo (16.1 million), HP (13.9 million), Dell (9.9 million), Apple (6.3 million) and Asus (4.3 million) were the top five sellers in the December quarter.

“The year-end holiday season failed to trigger a meaningful shipment recovery. Both OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and ODMs [original design manufacturers] expect that shipment momentum will come back in the first half of 2024,” Counterpoint’s report said.

Artificial intelligence-powered PCs, which were a key topic at the recently concluded CES 2024, are expected to drive a strong rebound in the global PC market.

“As the global PC market eyes a rebound in first half of 2024, the focus turns to AI PCs, driven by Intel and AMD advancements … the industry is set for a new chapter,” William Li, senior analyst at Counterpoint, said.

“The inventory level of key players comes to a healthy level at the end of 2023, lays the foundation for an evolving market. The strategic interplay of the launch of AI PCs and commercial replacement cycle add to the anticipation for a dynamic year ahead,” Mr Li said.

Intel, Qualcomm and other makers of PC CPUs are “working closely” with manufacturers to develop next-generation mainstream models, and a lot of product launches are expected in 2024.

Counterpoint predicts that AI PC sales will constitute 50 per cent of the overall market share next year.

Updated: January 19, 2024, 6:21 PM