The personal computer (PC) market has experienced a challenging period in recent years, with declining sales and lackluster consumer interest. However, according to analysts, the slump in PC sales may finally come to an end in the near future. A report by Canalys suggests that the PC market is expected to see a growth of 8% in 2024, driven by consumer demand to replace dated devices and the emergence of PCs equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) features.
One of the key factors contributing to the potential revival of the PC market is the integration of AI capabilities into these devices. Canalys predicts that AI-capable PCs will play a significant role in future sales, with an estimated 60% of all PCs shipped in 2027 being AI-capable. The integration of AI into PCs aims to enhance productivity and leisure experiences, making these devices more enticing to consumers.
The advent of generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the PC market. AI features can enable PCs to undertake complex tasks, such as autonomous decision-making, natural language processing, and advanced data analysis. As consumers actively seek to integrate AI into their daily lives, the demand for PCs with AI capabilities is expected to surge. This trend is anticipated to stimulate the growth of the PC market and encourage consumers to upgrade their existing devices to newer, AI-equipped models.
Another driving force behind the expected resurgence in PC sales is Microsoft’s decision to end support for its Windows 10 operating system in 2025. This announcement could have significant implications for millions of devices that will no longer receive updates and security patches, prompting users to seek newer PCs that are compatible with the upcoming Windows 11. Market intelligence firm IDC emphasizes that the aging installed base of commercial PCs, surpassing the four-year mark by 2024, will necessitate a refresh and alignment with the latest operating system.
While the PC market faced challenges in recent years, it experienced a notable surge in global sales in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic compelled individuals and organizations to adapt to remote work and learning environments, leading to increased demand for PCs. The rapid transition to remote setups necessitated the purchase of additional devices to accommodate the shifting work and educational landscapes.
However, the subsequent quarters saw a decline in PC shipments due to macroeconomic factors, weak retail and commercial demand, and a shift in IT budgets away from device purchases. Nevertheless, IDC anticipates a potential growth of 3.4% in the PC market next year, indicating a gradual recovery from the setbacks faced in recent times.
While AI-integrated PCs are initially expected to target specific segments of the enterprise market, there is potential for broader adoption in the future. As production costs reduce and more practical applications arise, AI-capable PCs could find their way into the hands of a wider consumer base. HP CEO Enrique Lores believes that the introduction of AI capabilities in their computers will contribute to accelerating the growth of the PC market, doubling its expansion from the coming year onwards.
The PC market’s recent struggles may soon be a thing of the past. The integration of AI capabilities into PCs, the impending obsolescence of Windows 10, and the impact of the pandemic have all played a significant role in shaping the outlook for the market. With the potential for increased productivity and enhanced user experiences, AI-capable PCs are poised to become an essential part of modern work and life. As consumers seek to upgrade their devices and adapt to evolving technological advancements, the PC industry is expected to witness a resurgence and drive growth in the years to come.