PC sales plummet once more - so now could be a great time to buy

A man sitting with the Acer Swift Edge 16 on his lap.
(Image credit: Acer)

New analyst figures have claimed a huge drop in PC shipments across Western Europe, potentially heralding another slump for the global market.

The latest figures from analyst company Canalys found shipments were down 37% in the first three months of 2023, accounting for just 10 million units.

Of all shipments in Western Europe, notebooks like the best business laptops made up 81%, with desktop PCs taking just 19% of the market. Lenovo and HP each represented 26.4% and 25.4% of the PC market, with Apple and Dell taking 14.6% and 13.1% slices each. Rounding up the top five last quarter was Asus, at just 6.6%.

PC sales continue to struggle throughout 2023

Tablets - an already unpopular sector as smartphones improve and PCs become more affordable - also saw a dip in Q1 2023, with 20% fewer shipments than the same period in 2022, now standing at 5.2 million units.

Looking ahead, Canalys expects PC shipments to fall 9% year-on-year for the full year 2023, with tablets faring slightly worse at a 12% estimated drop. While this is poor news for manufacturers, higher figures suggest gradual improvements as the year goes on, with “accelerated improvement” predicted for 2024.

Inflation continues to be blamed for poor sales, but many companies are planning to offer promotions and incentives to boost figures, making now a sensible time to upgrade hardware.

Also expected to contribute to the long-term growth in shipments is the Device-as-a-Serivce (DaaS) model which is increasing in popularity, offering businesses affordable options for regular upgrades, and providing PC sellers sustainable and regular payments.

A final factor at play is the Windows end-of-life in late 2025, which is likely to see many companies upgrading their PCs to either support or be more optimized for Windows 11 and future operating systems.

Western Europe isn’t the only region where consumers are likely to come across competitive PC deals in coming months, with shipments falling 28% YOY in the US, 35% YOY in India, and 24% YOY in Mainland China. Overall, global PC shipments dropped by 33% during 2023’s first three months compared with the year prior, with figures estimated to be at 54 million units.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!