US PC market showing signs of recovery despite 6% yearly decline

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PC shipments in the United States declined by just 6% year-on-year during the second quarter of 2023, which Canalys said shows signs of a “significant improvement” compared to previous quarters. 

Analysis of Q2 shipment statistics from the consultancy found that PC shipments declined to 18.2 million units. 

Desktop devices, including desktop workstations, saw a steep decline across the quarter, with shipments falling by 12% to 3 million units. 

The US tablet market also faced a “similarly modest decline” at 5% while notebook shipments were down 4%. Canalys said the decline in the notebook market was “bolstered by the return of Chromebook demand in the education sector”. 

Meanwhile, comparable spending habits among consumers and businesses showed positive signs moving forward. 

PC shipments to the commercial sector were down just 4%, while the consumer sector recorded a larger drop of 10%. 

Ishan Dutt, principal analyst at Canalys said the recent statistics paint a positive picture for the market looking ahead to Q3 and Q4. 

“Despite undergoing another year-on-year decline, the US PC market showed promising signs of improvement in the second quarter,” said Dutt. 

“The long-term outlook for PCs in the US remains positive,” he added. “As macroeconomic pressures subside, the strong fundamentals around post-pandemic PC usage behavior and the larger installed base across all segments will be a boon to the industry.”


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The outlook for the broader PC market remains positive, Canalys said, with Q3 stats expected to show a rebound. 

“Although businesses and consumers are likely to exhibit some caution in spending on PCs in the short term, the industry can now look forward to further improvement in the US,” Canalys said. 

The consultancy expects an “even smaller shipment decline” of just 4% in Q3 2023, which could be followed by a 12% increase in growth across Q4. 

“Beyond that, the market is forecasted to grow 9% in 2024 and 12% in 2025,” the firm added. 

PC shipment market rebound

The analysis from Canalys could calm growing fears among major PC vendors, all of which have experienced acute challenges across 2023 amid challenging economic conditions.

In January, research from Gartner revealed that the global PC market witnessed a “record decline” in shipments. 

The total number of shipments across Q4 2022 stood at 65.3 million, marking a 28.5% decline and the sharpest dip since the consultancy started tracking shipments in the 1990s. 

Hesitancy and reduced spending power among both consumers and businesses alike compounded the situation further in the months following this research, with major vendors such as Dell, Lenovo, and HP all recording sluggish sales growth.  

The market experienced two consecutive quarterly declines of over 30%, alternative research from Canalys found. 

Vendor optimism rising

Positive signs have been rumbling away in recent weeks, however. In August, Lenovo recorded a 24% dip in revenue across the first quarter of its financial year. 

While the earnings report raised concerns of a steeper decline, the firm retained a positive outlook for the coming quarter and highlighted what it believed to be a “return to stability” in the market.  

“The group’s PC business is stabilizing and well-positioned for a year-on-year recovery in the later part of 2023,” Lenovo said at the time. 

The PC manufacturer also suggested that while the global PC market was “regressing to pre-COVID levels”, the broader market will return to “structurally higher levels” than pre-pandemic conditions long-term. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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