Global PC shipments declined by 13.4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2023, according to the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

This is the sixth consecutive quarter of contraction brought on by macroeconomic headwinds, weak demand from both the consumer and commercial sectors, and a shift in IT budgets away from device purchases.

The firm stated that despite the poor showing, the market performed better than what was predicted for the quarter.

IDC noted that the overall weak demand had caused inventory levels to remain above normal for longer than expected, with no PC maker immune to the challenges presented by the market.

It stated that except for Apple and HP, all the leading companies recorded double-digit declines during the quarter.

Apple benefitted from a favourable year-on-year comparison as the company suffered supply issues during the second quarter of 2022 due to COVID-related shutdowns within the supply chain.

It added, “HP has faced an oversupply of inventory in the past year and is finally approaching normalised levels of inventory, allowing its growth rate to shine during this downturn.”

The research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, Jitesh Ubrani, noted, “Elevated channel and component inventory are once again dragging down the market.

“And despite these issues slowly easing, many component suppliers continue to offer reduced pricing in an effort to clear their inventory though PC makers and channels are still cautious about new systems due to the reduced demand.”

The Group Vice President for IDC’s Client Device Trackers, Ryan Reith, further added, “The roller coaster of supply and demand the PC industry has faced over the past five years has been extremely challenging.”

According to him, companies don’t want to be caught with short supply like they were in 2020 and 2021, but at the same time, many seem hesitant to make the big bet on a market rebound.

“On the consumer side, we are seeing a return to pre-pandemic habits where computing needs are shared across multiple devices, and we firmly believe the consumer wallet will favour smartphones over the PC.

“On the commercial side, workforce reductions (for many big companies) as well as the introduction of generative AI, only add more confusion as to where to place an already reduced budget.”

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