2024 seen as start of PC, tablet recovery after big losses

Worldwide tablet shipments dropped 20% in 2023, reaching their lowest annual volume since 2011, IDC reported Monday.

In early January, IDC had said 2023 shipments for PCs also declined, by 14% on top of a 16% decline in 2022. The PC downturn of the past two years was unparalleled in the industry’s history and came after a surge in PC purchases driven by the Covid pandemic.

In January, IDC predicted an uptick for PCs in 2024 with the advent of AI-enabled PCs and a focus on gaming PCs.  The same may not be true for tablets, however.

While 2024 for tablets should provide some rebound, IDC analyst Anuropa Nataraj argued that the technological advances around AI will likely focus more on the PC and smartphone for the next two years.

Apple came out on top in tablets in 2023, but was still down 20% from the prior year. Samsung followed with a 14% decline and Lenovo was third with a 20% decline. Amazon tablets came in fifth and were down 66% over 2022.  The number of tablets shipped in 2023 was 128 million.

In PCs, Lenovo shipped 59 million units in 2023, down 13% over t he prior year. HP was second with 52.9 million, down 4.3%. Dell shipped 40 million, down nearly 20% while Apple shipped nearly 22 million PCs, down 22%. Asus came in fifth with 16.8 million, down 18%.  Over all vendors, 260 million PCs shipped in 2023.

Even the fourth quarter of 2023 was a poor one for PCs, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment volume contraction. It was also the lowest fourth quarter since the final quarter of 2006, marking a market coming to grips with weak demand.

While IDC expressed some optimism for 2024 for both PCs and tablets, there is obviously a great deal of lost volume to be made up in coming years.