The global personal computer (PC) market is experiencing a significant decline, with shipments falling 13.4% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2023 (2Q23), according to preliminary results from the quarterly worldwide survey of personal computing devices, conducted by IDC. This is the sixth consecutive quarter of declines due to macroeconomic factors, weak demand from both the consumer and commercial sectors.

IDC: PC market in Q2 fell 13.4% year-on-year due to weak demand, only Apple formally grows

Despite overall weak demand, inventory levels remained above normal for longer than expected. This applies to both off-the-shelf systems at the level of distribution channels and the supply chain. All the top companies except Apple and HP experienced double-digit declines during the quarter.

Apple benefited from a favorable year-over-year comparison as the company struggled to deliver in Q2 2022 due to COVID-related supply chain disruptions. Meanwhile, HP ran into excess inventory last year and is finally nearing normal inventory levels, allowing it to show strong growth during this downturn.

“Elevated channel and component inventory are once again dragging down the market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “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 roller coaster of supply and demand the PC industry has faced over the past five years has been extremely challenging,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president for IDC’s Client Device Trackers. “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’re seeing a return to pre-pandemic habits where computing needs are shared across multiple devices, and we firmly believe the consumer wallet will favor 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.”

IDC: PC market in Q2 fell 13.4% year-on-year due to weak demand, only Apple formally grows

The top five companies in terms of shipments of traditional PCs in the world, market share and annual growth in the 2nd quarter of 2023 included Lenovo (14.2 million units, 23.1% of the market, -18.4% growth), HP Inc. (13.4 million units, 21.8% of the market, -0.8% growth), Dell Technologies (10.3 million devices, 16.8% of the market, -22.0% growth), Apple (5.3 million devices, 8.6% market, 10.3% growth) and Acer Group (4.0 million devices, 6.4% market, -19.2% growth).