PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Apple Computer Shipments Jump 20% Amid Higher PC Sales

PC sales, Apple, personal computers

After seven straight quarters of decline, the PC market is turning around.

That’s according to new research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, released Tuesday (July 9), which showed global PC shipments reaching 64.9 million units in the second quarter of 2024, up 3% since last year.

That number would have been higher if not for slower sales in China, IDC said. Setting aside that country, worldwide shipments climbed more than 5% year over year.

“Make no mistake, the PC market just like other technology markets faces challenges in the near term due to maturity and headwinds,” Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Device Trackers, said in a news release.

“However, two consecutive quarters of growth, combined with plenty of market hype around AI PCs and a less sexy but arguably more important commercial refresh cycle, seems to be what the PC market needed. The buzz is clearly around AI, but a lot is happening with non-AI PC purchasing to make this mature market show signs of positivity.”

IDC noted that most industry players have recently begun outlining strategies for artificial intelligence (AI) powered-personal computers (PCs), with an emphasis on the component side and the commercial market’s potential.

“While IDC believes the commercial market has the biggest short-term upside for AI in the PC industry, the consumer story has yet to be told in full,” the release said. “All eyes are on Apple to drive that message later this year with anticipated product launches, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that Qualcomm, Intel, and AMD are all likely to make noise around both consumer and commercial AI PCs.”

According to IDC’s data, Lenovo led the world in PC shipments during the quarter, selling 14.7 million machines. Apple came in fourth place with 5.7 million and showed the largest turnaround, with shipments up 20.8% year over year.

IDC’s figures follow findings from Morgan Stanley in May, which argued that Microsoft’s new line of AI-ready personal computers could usher in a new wave of PC sales.

The report pointed to a number of factors that could fuel PC sales in the second half of this year and into next: an initial price of $1,000 or more, a commercial PC installed base that is 13% bigger than before the pandemic, and Windows 10’s coming wind-down.

As PYMNTS noted earlier this year, Microsoft’s new “Copilot+ PCs” — a new iteration of Windows machines designed to handle generative AI processes locally — show that the company is “betting that the future of computing will be powered by AI — and that users will want that intelligence at their fingertips rather than in the cloud.”