Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

The PC does not raise its head, but in the last quarter there is a big winner and a (unexpected) big loser

The PC and laptop market is experiencing a complex situation, which since the pandemic ended is experiencing – as is the case with smartphones – a worrying drop in sales. The trend continues, but in the last quarter there are some positive surprises… and also negative ones.

Inflection point? At IDC they have published their quarterly global PC sales report, and they have done so with the same tone as in recent months. Sales have still not recovered and the global drop is 7.6% compared to the same period last year. It is actually less negative data than in the last two quarters, and according to IDC the drop in sales has bottomed out.

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Source: IDC.

Medium-term optimism. In fact, they indicate, the inventory situation has improved and is at “healthy” levels. The problem of price pressure persists, however, but IDC is optimistic about the future of this segment. The end of Windows 10 support will help boost sales in the second half of 2024, they say, but until then the situation will be compromised.

Positive surprises for HP. While the entire market falls noticeably, HP saves itself from the burn with non-negligible growth. It sold 13.5 million PCs and laptops in the third fiscal quarter of 2023, 6.4% more than in the same period of 2023. This allows it to consolidate its second place behind Lenovo and grow in share: almost one of every five PCs sold in the world are from HP. At IDC they point to an “inventory normalization” as the cause of this surprising growth.

Apple, plummeting. HP’s rise contrasts with the fall of Apple, which seemed to be safe from this phenomenon at the beginning of the year but has since suffered just like its competitors. In this quarter, in fact, much more, because it has fallen a worrying 23.1% compared to the same period last year. According to IDC analysts, the reasons for the decline are “unfavorable year-over-year comparisons as the company recovered from a COVID-related production disruption during 3Q22.”

AI as a selling point. The future of the segment seems to be marked by generative AI. Linn Huang, one of the directors of IDC, emphasizes that this technology “could mark a before and after in the PC industry.” There is already talk of future chips that will enhance the PC and make each user’s experience much more personalized, and that could be one of the keys to attracting future buyers.

Image | PolaroMagnet

Danish Kapoor