It’s a testament to how odd the chip market is right now that personal-computer demand is actually a source of strength.
PC sales have been in a downspin since early last year, following two years of pandemic-induced growth. The downturn has been such that the 7.6% year-over-year decline in unit sales that market-research firm IDC reported for the third quarter actually counted as a notable improvement, as sales had been falling by double digits for the previous five periods. IDC projects PC shipments will total 252 million units globally this year—down 14% from last year and the lowest annual sales number the firm has reported in more than a decade.
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