Arm processors predicted to take over a quarter of the laptop market by 2027

In short: Global PC shipments fell more than 16 percent last year, and the outlook for most of 2023 isn’t much better, but there is at least one ray of hope in the stormy sky.

According to the latest from Counterpoint Research, Arm-based laptops are on track to claim a significant market share of traditional x86-based machines in the coming years.

Apple helped pave the way by releasing its M1 SoC in late 2020, and subsequent iterations have only expanded the company’s leadership in this area. In 2022, Apple led the Arm laptop market with a 90% share and helped push the category to 13% of the total laptop processor market share.

Counterpoint’s data is in line with IDC data released last month. If you remember, the research firm reported that Apple shipped 7.5 million Macs in the fourth quarter and 28.6 million units for the full year. Among the top five PC makers, only Apple posted positive annual growth. Asus was next with a 5.7% year-on-year drop in shipments.

Analysts at Counterpoint expect Arm-based machines to account for 15% of laptop shipments this year and 18% in 2024, largely due to increased ecosystem support and a narrowing performance gap compared to x86 offerings.

By then, Counterpoint expects other major processor vendors such as MediaTek and Qualcomm to have their Arm-based solutions ready. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, one in four laptops sold in 2027 may be equipped with an Arm processor.

Arm’s profits will inevitably come at the expense of current market leaders AMD and Intel. Counterpoint believes that Intel could be hit the hardest and lose nearly 10 percent of its market share to Arm systems in the next five years.

The overall PC market may not return to growth until the end of this year, with a broader recovery expected in 2024. For now, according to IDC, the consumer market remains a wildcard.

Image credit: Fritzchens Fritz

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