Canalys, the market research company, forecasts a slight increase of 4% in Mainland China's computer market (excluding tablets) by 2024, following an expected decline of 18% at the end of 2023. After a challenging Q3 period in 2023, during which PC shipments fell significantly by 16% year-on-year, the sector is anticipated to start recovering from Q2 in 2024, a recovery which the firm posits will be supported by strong IT investment from large enterprises across strategic industries.
Analyst at Canalys, Emma Xu explained, "There are signs of growth in public sectors and frontier industries with IT upgrade demands set for AI solutions". Continuing, she noted that massive IT investments in advanced technologies would coincide with a policy shift by the central government toward encouraging industrial upgrades as the primary economic focus of 2024.
While the overall PC market struggled during Q3 2023, desktops (including desktop workstations) led the sector's recovery with a smaller 9% decrease year-on-year to 3.4 million units. There was a sluggish demand for notebooks (including mobile workstations), with shipments dropping 18% year-on-year to 7.8 million units.
Despite a challenging quarter, Lenovo remained the market leader, even as its PC shipments dropped by 15% year-on-year. HP was in second place with 11% market share, bolstered by its acquisition of Poly, a commercial product portfolio. Dell and Asus ranked fourth and fifth in the market, respectively, both of which experienced a substantial 36% year-on-year decline.
In contrast to the slower recovery of the PC market, the tablet segment displayed robust growth figures. Canalys reports a healthy 16% year-on-year rise to 7.4 million units, driven by the digitalisation of education and entertainment and seasonal promotions. The research company anticipates a 5% growth for the full year 2023, with unit figures reaching 28 million units before it stabilises in 2024.
Xu stated, "The demand for smart products that make life more convenient and efficient will continue to be strong in Mainland China as leading vendors are anchoring their growth in driving upgrades in specific user scenarios such as parental education or creative work and investing in constructing entire product ecosystems with embedded interoperable functionalities."
Apple and Huawei remain the market leaders in the tablet sector, albeit with contrasting fortunes. Apple's market share fell to 31% from 38%, while Huawei's market share rose to 24%, a success attributed to active product marketing and channel promotion. Xiaomi also saw growth, with its market share in the tablet market growing from 7% in Q3 2022 to 11% in the same period in 2023. However, both HONOR and Lenovo experienced declines in terms of both market share and shipments during this quarter.