A report from Canalys forecasts that the nearly two-year-long decline in PC shipments will finally end in Q4 of this year, flipping to a projected 5% growth. More growth is also projected to arrive next year, which will supposedly see 8% higher PC shipments than in 2023. Canalys expects the surging interest in AI and the arrival of ARM-equipped PCs to fuel this growth.
After reaching a high peak in 2021 on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, PC sales have declined significantly ever since. Canalys expects the final tally of PC shipments this year to be lower than it was in 2019, wiping out all the gains made in 2020 and 2021. However, Canalys' forecast predicts 2024 will see the PC market recover to roughly 2019's shipment levels, and then to 2020's levels by 2026.
A key assumption of this forecast is that new AI software and hardware will re-spark consumer interest in PCs. Canalys predicts that AI-powered PCs will account for 19% of all PCs shipped in 2024, a figure that includes M-series Macs and presumably PCs equipped with Ryzen 7000 or some of Intel's latest CPUs like Meteor Lake.
PCs with ARM chips are also expected to play an important role in the recovery of the PC market. Although Apple's M CPUs use the ARM architecture, Canalys pointed out Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite CPU as the primary driver of growth for ARM-based PCs. The firm previously predicted ARM chips would grab 30% share of the PC market by 2026.
Of course, the health of the global economy is perhaps the biggest factor in whether consumers buy PCs. The decline of shipments in 2022 and 2023 was precipitated largely on potential buyers being more frugal with their money. The report only touches on this and merely mentions there is "an improving macroeconomic environment." Assuming this recovery of the economy persists into 2024, then it could carry the PC market along.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.
Neither Intel, AMD, nor Nvidia are helping by going into 2024 with 2022-era products. I'm looking forward to the launches of Arrow Lake and Zen 5, though.Reply
Good to see some recovery.Reply
Counting M-Series Macs. I mean, I hope I’m not blowing anyone’s mind but, dumb marketing aside, Macs are personal computers. LOL.Reply
Sorry, I’ve always wanted to say that. I couldn’t pass the opportunity up.