Personal Computing Devices Market Insights

Updated: 11 June 2024

2024 Q1 PCD Market Overview

After two years of decline, the worldwide traditional PCD market returned to growth during the first quarter of 2024 (1Q24) with 90.9 million shipments, growing 1.5% year over year. Growth was largely achieved due to easy year-over-year comparisons as the market declined 25.7% during the first quarter of 2023, which was the lowest point in history for both PCs and tablets. In addition, global PC shipments finally returned to pre-pandemic levels as 1Q24 volumes rivaled those seen in 1Q19 when 60.5 million units were shipped. With inflation numbers trending down, PC shipments have begun to recover in most regions, leading to growth in the Americas as well as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). However, the deflationary pressures in China directly impacted the global PC market. As the largest consumer of desktop PCs, weak demand in China led to yet another quarter of declines for global desktop shipments, which already faced pressure from notebooks as the preferred form factor. For tablets, the shift towards premium tablets is a silver lining as consumers seek productivity-oriented devices.

Despite China's struggles, the recovery is expected to continue in 2024 as newer AI PCs hit shelves later this year and as commercial buyers begin refreshing the PCs that were purchased during the pandemic. Along with growth in shipments, AI PCs are also expected to carry higher price tags, providing further opportunity for PC and component makers. Among the top 5 companies, Lenovo once again held the top spot and outgrew the market largely due to the steep decline in shipments experienced in 1Q23. Apple's strong growth was also due to an outsized decline in the prior year.

The tablet market started showing signs of recovery in the first quarter. The real gains will come from the next refresh cycle, followed by growth within commercial segments as more tablets are used in the education sector and the gig economy. However, these factors won't suffice as the attrition driven by competition from PCs and smartphones will contribute to a lackluster outlook for the tablet market. That said, there is potential upside driven by AI capabilities similar to what's expected in other device types. Among the top 5 companies, Apple once again held the top shot despite its lackluster performance due to the poor economy and the absence of new models. Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi followed Apple in the top 5.

For full year 2024, the worldwide PCD market is expected to grow by 1.5% year over year. While the tablets are expected to grow at 4.5% year over year with 134.5 million units, traditional PC market is expected to remain flat with 260.2 million units despite economic improvements and a new category of PCs with onboard neural processing units (NPU) colloquially dubbed AI PCs according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. However, the global PC forecast is dragged down by China as the country’s economy faces multiple challenges and in the near term, inventory remains elevated. Excluding China, the PC market is expected to grow 2.6% in 2024 while China itself, is expected to recover in 3Q2025.

Outside of the refresh cycle, AI PCs based on Qualcomm's recently launched silicon, as well as newer parts from AMD and Intel arriving later this year are also expected to provide an uplift though in the long term, these AI PCs are less likely to drive volume though they will drive average selling prices (ASP).

Historical PCD Market Share

Historical PCD Market Share chart

Forecast PCD Market Share

Forecast PCD Market Share chart

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