Global PC shipments could see a return to growth during 2024, with Apple's Mac business also potentially benefiting from the 2025 end of support for Windows 10, too.
The PC market has been troublesome for most vendors for successive quarters, with Apple seemingly the exception to the rule. While Apple enjoyed increased shipments in Q2 2023 of 10.3% while the global market declined 13.4%, it may stand to benefit more from 2024's shipments.
According to IDC, PC shipments are forecast to grow by 3.7% year-on-year in 2024, with a total of 261.4 million units shipped. This will be a return to form for the market, with the figure higher than 2018's 259.6 million but below 2019 levels.
For 2023, challenges around refresh cycles for consumers, businesses pushing their device purchases later, and low education budgets are causing problems for the industry. The shipments for 2023 are forecast to reach 252 million units, a year-on-year decline of 13.7%.
Citing economic headwinds making consumer demand "tepid at best," IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers research manager Jitesh Ubrani adds that demand for smartphones, tablets, and consoles will also impact 2023 PC shipments. Ubrani refers to 2023 as the "year with the greatest annual decline in consumer PC shipments since the category's inception."
For commercial PCs, the market could get interesting for a number of reasons. First, IDC refers to major shifts in processor usage, with Apple's share at just over 5% in 2022 while AMD hits an 11% share.
The expansion of generative AI also means IT managers have to work out where to put their budgets. AI-capable PCs are expected to become more important in purchaser's eyes.
The continuation of remote and hybrid work environments also means companies are continuing to listen to requests from employees concerning brands and their particular computing needs.
IDC Worldwide Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers group vice president Ryan Reith also raises a point for the commercial market, pointing out that Windows 10 end of support will happen in 2025. The end of support will help drive commercial purchases, and it will apparently do so even if the businesses involved continue waiting for more advanced PCs to become available.
"It seems clear that Apple sees an opportunity to continue its growth in the commercial segment and this will be an angle to watch closely going forward," adds Reith.