The global PC industry has been grappling with persistent low consumer demand for the past two years. Q3 2023 was the 7th consecutive quarter of declining yearly shipments for PCs, including personal computers, notebooks, and workstations. Approximately 68.2 million units were shipped during this quarter, with a 7.6% YoY decline, according to IDC. However, the situation may not be as dire as it appears at first glance. The global PC market has shown signs of improvement over the past six months, with noteworthy quarterly growth rates of 8.3% in Q2 and a substantial 10.7% in Q3 2023.
The ongoing yearly decline in PC shipments worldwide can be attributed to macroeconomic challenges, subdued demand from both consumers and enterprises and a shift in IT spending priorities away from excessive investments in hardware. On a positive note, PC inventories have become leaner in recent months and are approaching healthier levels in most distribution channels. Nevertheless, pricing pressures continue to loom as a concern affecting both consumer and business sectors.
“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. In the meantime, the PC industry will unfortunately experience more pain,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
Let’s dive into the performance of the top 5 global PC companies during the third quarter of 2023.
Top 5 PC Companies Q3 2023
- Lenovo continues to hold the numero-uno position in the global PC market, offering high-tech Windows PCs and affordable ThinkPad laptops. The company shipped 16 million PC units during Q3 2023, with a 5% YoY decline. Interestingly, on a quarterly basis, Lenovo recorded an impressive 12.7% QoQ growth in shipments worldwide. This led to Lenovo’s market share in the worldwide PC market growing from 22.9% in Q3 2022 to 23.1% in Q2 2023 and 23.5% in Q3 2023.
- As the second-largest PC company globally, HP Inc. was the only one among the top 5 to record year-on-year growth in PC shipments during Q3 2023. Strong sales of Chromebooks contributed to this growth. In Q3 2023, HP shipped 13.5 million units of PCs, with an impressive 6.4% YoY and a marginal 0.7% QoQ growth. As a result, HP’s market share in the worldwide PC market increased from 17.2% to 19.8% in just one year.
- Dell Technologies continues to face low demand for PCs and laptops from consumers. In Q3 2023, Dell reported a notable 14.3% YoY decline in PC shipments, totalling 10.3 million units. The shipment figure remained consistent with what the company shipped during the second quarter. Consequently, Dell’s market share in the global traditional PC market declined from 16.2% to 15.0% in the last 12 months ended September 30, 2023.
- Surprisingly, the third quarter of 2023 turned out to be the worst quarter for Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) in terms of the number of PCs shipped, particularly when compared to the same period a year ago. The Cupertino giant reported the highest double-digit decline of 23.1% YoY in Q3 2023, totalling 7.2 million units shipped. This decline had a direct impact on Apple’s market share, which dropped from 12.7% to 10.6% over the course of the 12-month period. However, it is important to note that the demand for Apple Macbooks surged during the third quarter when compared to the previous quarter; Apple recorded 35.8% QoQ growth in global PC shipments in Q3 2023.
- Asus secured the fifth position in the list of the world’s top 5 PC companies in terms of shipments and market share, holding a 7.1% market share in Q3 2023. The company shipped 4.9 million units during the third quarter, witnessing a significant 10.7% YoY decline.
The constant yearly decline in shipments of personal computers and laptops has raised serious concern among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and investors. Even though the market conditions are improving, various factors, including macroeconomic conditions, COVID-related supply chain disruptions, and the continued prevalence of the work-from-home culture, have already influenced consumers’ shopping preferences.
Moreover, the rise of large-screen foldable smartphones by companies like Samsung has impacted laptop demand, particularly among younger consumers who are still in school or college. These tech companies also integrate advanced technology into their smartphones, catering to people who enjoy playing video games. This has had repercussions on the demand for gaming laptops worldwide.
The future of the global PC industry remains uncertain. To stay relevant and meet evolving consumer needs, companies must offer more in their PCs and laptops than just productivity tools for work. They will need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and find ways to add value beyond the traditional uses of these devices. The industry’s ongoing slowdown makes this narrative even more compelling, which has ignited a deeper exploration of supply chain dynamics. There’s a growing appetite to diversify procurement and production, extending far beyond the well-trodden pathways of China. Surprisingly, this issue has become the second most pressing concern, second only to the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) within personal computers.