Despite clear economic headwinds, IDC research manager Jitesh Ubrani has suggested that PC sales could be set to recover to pre-pandemic levels as early as next year.
The research firm’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker indicates PC shipments could increase 3.7% year-on-year in 2024 to the tune of 261.4 million units, up from 259.6 million in 2018, and up from 2023’s predicted 252 million units.
But despite this healthy outlook, IDC has still indicated that there are challenges facing the sales of PCs across the world.
PC sales may rise again soon
Ubrani notes that smartphones and tablets have fundamentally changed how many of us access the Internet in recent years, but while these ultra-portable devices are unlikely to decrease in popularity any time soon, desktops and laptops remain an integral part of life for a growing community of hybrid workers.
Canalys, another analyst firm that tasks itself with monitoring PC shipments, also noted earlier this year that the decline has been slowing.
Both companies have, at numerous points, also expressed concerns over struggling business budgets which have seen many have to rethink their acquisition and refresh timescales. With budgets slowly returning, companies may soon be able to update their fleets sooner.
IDC group VP Ryan Reith took note that OS deprecations, such as the end of support for Windows 10 set for 2025, also act in favor of PC shipments.
It’s also important to note precisely why PC sales have suffered recently. Alongside the evident financial reasons, many companies were forced to acquire new hardware in the years that followed the pandemic thanks to a surge in remote working – a move that artificially inflated figures.
Looking ahead, IDC looks to be optimistic about PC sales amid emerging technologies, including new AI-capable machines.