Personal Computing Devices Market Insights
Updated: 15 December 2023
2023 Q3 PCD Market Overview
The downward spiral for PCD shipments continued during the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23) as global volumes declined 9.9% year over year with 101.3 million devices shipped. PC shipments declined 7.2% year over year with 68.5 million units. Though demand and the global economy remain subdued, PC shipments have increased in each of the last two quarters, slowing the rate of annual decline and indicating that the market has moved past the bottom of the trough. Tablets shipments declined 15.2% year over year with 32.9 million units. Despite constricted demand, the market saw an upsurge of 16.7% over the previous quarter due to seasonality. Chromebook shipments also contracted in 3Q23 with shipments totaling 3.7 million units for a year-over-year decline of 18.2%. However, the market for Chromebooks is potentially in a better position due to a pending refresh in the education segment and leftover budgets within government spending.
PC inventory has also become leaner in the past few months and is near healthy levels in most channels. However, downward pressure on pricing persists and will likely remain an issue within the consumer and business sectors. While most of the top 5 vendors experienced double-digit declines during the quarter, Apple's outsized decline was the result of unfavorable year-over-year comparisons as the company recovered from a COVID-related halt in production during 3Q22. Meanwhile, HP's growth was largely due to the normalizing of inventory.
On that tablet side, Apple led the market with shipments of 12.5 million units yet declined 15.1% year over year. Unlike past years, Apple has forgone the launch of new models during the third quarter, which typically provides an uplift in the second half of the year. However, not all is lost as Apple has been able to maintain share since last year. Samsung shipped 6 million units in the quarter and ranked second overall. Though the company's shipments have contracted, the tablet maker seems focused on a turnaround by concentrating on the premium segment along with additional marketing campaigns. Lenovo and Huawei landed in the third and fourth position this quarter with shipments of 2.6 million and 2.3 million units respectively. After a dismal performance last quarter, Amazon was able to reposition itself in the top 5 by gearing up for the holiday season and launching a new value-priced premium device, the Fire Max 11.
In terms of forecast, the PCD market is expected to make a recovery in 2024 with a growth of 4.1% year over year. 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. 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. PC shipments are forecast to grow 3.4% year over year in 2024 reaching 260.3 million shipments.
For tablets, the first three quarters of 2023 recorded some of the largest contractions in the tablet market and the upcoming holiday season isn't expected to be very different. With no dramatic improvements in macroeconomic conditions, project and purchase delays are expected to be pushed further into 2024. Refresh in the education segment and growth in use cases across verticals might help the tablet market to stay afloat in the long run, but in the near future we don’t expect any significant uptick in tablet sales. Tablets are also forecasted to grow in 2024 by 5.6% year over year with 135.4 million shipments. Competition from PCs and smartphones continues to put downward pressure on the tablet market as well. However, the most successful tablet makers have realized that the tablet works best when paired with rather than against a PC or smartphone and as such we expect other tablet makers to follow suit by offering a more unified software and services experience though this will take some time to coalesce.