AI PC Shipments Are Reportedly Expected to Grow, But Nobody Really Cares

AI PC Shipments Are Reportedly Expected to Grow, But Nobody Really Cares

AI PC and generative AI smartphone shipments are set to grow in 2024, according to a recent report, however, while more products are being shipped, consumers aren’t too eager to go out and buy one for the purpose of AI. 

A new report from consulting firm Gartner estimated that 240 generative AI smartphones and 54.5 million AI PCs will be shipped by the end of this year. These numbers represent 22 per cent of basic and premium smartphones and 22 per cent of all PCs in 2024.

AI PCs are seen by Gartner as those with dedicated AI accelerators or cores, neural processing units (NPUs), accelerated processing units (APUs) or tensor processing units (TPUs), designed to optimise and accelerate AI tasks on the device. Generative AI smartphones are those built with hardware and software capabilities that enable seamless integration and efficient execution of GenAI-driven features and applications on the smartphone. 

Gartner predicts that worldwide shipments of AI PCs and generative AI smartphones are projected to total 295 million units by the end of 2024, up from 29 million units in 2023. 

While AI PCs and generative AI smartphones will represent one-fifth of total shipments in 2024, Gartner analysts note that the integration of AI into PCs is not expected to drive end-user spending beyond anticipated price increases. 

The research firm said it will take time for software providers to harness the power of on-device AI and clearly demonstrate its enhanced benefits.

Similar to AI PCs, Gartner said generative AI smartphones will not impact smartphone demand until 2027. 

“The enhancements to smartphones evolve the current experiences with cameras and voice integration, but these capabilities are expected by users rather than demonstrating a new groundbreaking functionality,” senior director analyst at Gartner Ranjit Atwal said.

“Users have the same expectation for the functionality of generative AI on their smartphone.”

Atwal added that until there is something “groundbreaking”, users won’t be lining around the block to buy these generative AI-powered devices. 

“They are unlikely to pay a premium for GenAI smartphones without the availability of any groundbreaking applications,” he said. 

It is still early days for generative AI so this tech is in its infancy, but eventually, generative AI processors will become the norm for smartphones and PCs.

Atwal said, “This ubiquity will pose challenges for vendors in differentiating themselves from competitors, making it harder to create unique selling points and drive increased revenues.”

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