As the global economy nears recovery, so will the PC market with global shipments forecast to reach 265,4-million units in 2024, up 2% from the prior year according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

While vendors focused on clearing inventory in 2023, IDC expects 2024 to be an expansion year with the introduction of AI PCs, which will ultimately drive the market forward to 292,2-million units in 2028 and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2,4% over the 2024-2028 forecast period.

Growth is expected to slowly ramp up over the year along with the availability of AI PCs, which will coincide with the beginning of a commercial refresh cycle in 2025.

“Commercial buyers, both enterprise and educational, are on the cusp of a refresh cycle that begins later this year and reaches its peak in 2025,” says Jitesh Ubrani, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers. “Many of these buyers are expected to be among the first in terms of AI PC adoption. The presence of on-device AI capabilities is not likely to lead to an increase in the PC installed base, but it will certainly lead to a growth in average selling prices.”

Though commercial PCs will represent the majority of shipments, consumer purchases are also expected to return albeit at a slower pace.

“Several factors will come together to prop up consumer PC growth in the ensuing years,” says Linn Huang, research vice-president for Devices and Displays. “Economic recovery should help loosen the wallet just as many PCs bought in the early days of the pandemic come due for replacement. Gamers and creators alike will also have much to look forward to in the coming AI era.”

Worldwide Personal Computing Device Forecast by Product Category, Shipments, Year-Over-Year Growth, and 2024-2028 CAGRĀ (shipments in millions)
Category 2024 Shipments 2024/2023 Growth 2028 Shipments 2028/2027 Growth 2024-2028 CAGR
Consumer 119.3 0.8% 128.9 -0.2% 2.0%
Public Sector (Edu+Govt) 45.7 2.4% 51.3 0.1% 2.9%
Businesses 100.4 3.3% 112.1 1.6% 2.8%
Total 265.4 2.0% 292.2 0.5% 2.4%
Source: IDC Worldwide personal Computing Device Tracker, March 5, 2024