The last three years have been challenging for the PC and smartphone industry – and 2024 isn’t looking much better, says Stocklytics. After shifting back and forth, the global demand for new devices is expected to plunge again this year causing a new revenue drop and prolonging a long-awaited market recovery.

The research organisation says global PC and smartphone sales, though, are expected to fully recover in 2026 and generate $750-billion in revenue.

The global demand for PCs and smartphones has undergone a significant shift in the past three years, Stocklytics says. After a huge technology refresh companies and consumers underwent due to remote work and education during the pandemic, things drastically changed in 2022.

According to a Statista survey, the perfect storm of economic uncertainty and pandemic-caused layoffs triggered a massive $40-billion spending drop that year – the biggest decline the market has seen in a long time. Although sales figures significantly improved and jumped by $30-billion last year, 2024 is bringing another downturn.

With inflation crunching consumer purchasing power and fewer people spending money on new tech, global spending on PCs and smartphones is expected to drop by $10-billion YoY. But even more worrying is that the latest spending drop prolonged the long-awaited market recovery for two more years.

Statistics show global PC and smartphone sales will generate $730-billion in revenue in 2025, slightly less than at the market peak. However, this figure is expected to rise to $750-billion by the end of 2026, showing a $20-billion increase compared to 2021 figures.

The Statista data also showed most of the market recovery will come from the smartphone segment.

Despite the growth in emerging markets, global smartphone sales have been hugely impacted by component shortages, inventory build-up, and longer replacement cycles. These factors and the gloomy economic outlook resulted in a $15-billion sales drop in three years. In 2024, global smartphone sales are expected to generate $486-billion in revenue, down from more than $500-billion in 2021.

Looking ahead, though, the smartphone segment is poised for significant growth. Despite the challenges, statistics project a significant recovery – with sales revenue rising by $36-billion to $503-billion by 2026. In contrast, the PC segment will see three times smaller growth with revenue rising by $12-billion to $231-billion by 2026.