After a rough post-pandemic downturn, the PC market may see a rebound in 2024, according to Monday data from IDC.

In 2021, PC shipments hit highs not seen in a decade, at over 340 million units, when the pandemic prompted a huge increase in stay-at-home work and people building out their home offices. Demand cratered in 2022 with the return to normalcy, and the semiconductor shortage and high prices didn’t help matters either. The segment has declined in 2023 as well, and that trend is expected to continue through the rest of the year.

An IDC graph showing expected PC sales

(Credit: IDC)

However, things are expected to turn around in 2024, when IDC is forecasting a return to growth for global PC shipments. It won’t be a massive shift, as the growth predicted is only about 3.7% to roughly 261.4 million units. For reference, that’s just a hair below 2019’s shipment numbers so it’s more or less picking up where it left off before COVID-19. The consumer PC market drives most of the sales, but IDC says that educational and commercial sales should grow as well.

IDC cites increasing interest in AI, the still-strong hybrid and remote work market, and shifts in the commercial PC space as catalysts for growth. In addition, Windows 10 is reaching its end of support in 2025, which will likely prompt businesses to replace their aging stock with machines running Windows 11, or whatever Microsoft has planned for its next OS.

For consumers, the full refresh of AMD, Nvidia, and Intel products over the last year makes upgrades interesting, especially with the increase in AI capabilities from both Nvidia and AMD. The segment faces stiff competition from tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles, though.

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Growth is expected to continue through 2027, however, when IDC estimates that shipments could hit approximately 284.9 million units. That’s still below the pandemic highs, but it’ll be more than pre-pandemic levels, which is encouraging for the industry.

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