PC Market Shrinks in Q3, But Shows Signs of Recovery: Report

Dell desktop with monitor
(Image credit: Dell)

International Data Corp. (IDC) reports that the global PC market experienced a downturn in the third quarter of 2023, with a 7.6% drop in shipments, totaling 68.2 million units. However, there is a silver lining as the market has seen a sequential rise in the past two quarters, hinting at a potential recovery. Notably, while most vendors faced challenges, HP showed growth.

The industry shipped 68.2 million desktops and laptops in Q3 2023, down from 73.8 million systems in the same quarter of the prior year. IDC highlighted that despite the overall market slump, the past two consecutive quarters have shown an uptick in PC shipments. This suggests that the market might be moving past its lowest point. Current inventory levels are approaching a healthy state, but the industry continues to grapple with pricing challenges in both the consumer and business sectors, the report claims.

(Image credit: IDC)

"The PC industry is on a slow path to recovery as a device refresh cycle and end of support for Windows 10 will help drive sales in the second half of 2024 and beyond," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "In the meantime, the PC industry will unfortunately experience more pain," "The slowness in the industry is giving the supply chain an opportunity to explore procurement and production options outside China and this will likely remain a key issue going forward, second only to the advancement of AI within PCs."

Lenovo retained its position as the top global computer supplier in the third quarter of 2023, delivering 16 million devices. However, there was a 5% reduction in its sales compared to the previous year. Sequentially, Lenovo's shipments saw a rise of 1.8 million units. 

HP, ranking second globally in PC production, sold 13.5 million units of desktops and laptops in the same quarter. HP was the only company to increase sales of PCs by 6.4% year-over-year.

On the other hand, Dell, another major brand, reported its sixth straight quarter of reduced shipments. Dell secured the third spot with 10.3 million PCs, but its shipments declined by 14.3% YoY. This decline was primarily due to a decrease in enterprise PC demand, particularly in the U.S., a segment where Dell has a substantial footprint.

Among the top PC vendors, Apple faced the most significant significant setback. Apple, which retailed its No. 4 position, sold 7.2 million units, a 23.1% decline from the same quarter a year ago. This was attributed to production interruptions in late 2021 – early 2022 due to COVID-related issues and subsequent recovery in Q3 2022, which created an unfavorable year-over-year comparison. Apple commanded 10.6% of the PC market in Q3 2023, down from 12.7% in Q3 2022.

Asus shipped roughly 4.9 million computers in Q3, a 10.7% drop from the same quarter in 2022.

(Image credit: IDC)

Experts from IDC believes that the addition of generative AI support to PCs could revive sales of desktops and laptops next year.

"Generative AI could be a watershed moment for the PC industry," said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices & Displays at IDC. "While use cases have yet to be fully articulated, interest in the category is already strong. AI PCs promise organizations the ability to personalize the user experience at a deeper level all while being able to preserve data privacy and sovereignty. As more of these devices launch next year, we expect a significant boost to overall selling prices." 


Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • Co BIY
    Does this mean it's finally the right time to replace my i3-2120 Desktop ?

    I'm running 4TB of SSDs and a USB 3.0 card to keep it "up to date".

    Thoughts ?