U.S. PC market - Statistics & Facts

Personal computers (PC) are small and relatively inexpensive devices, intended for use by individuals. Prior to the development of the PC, computers were significantly larger and intended for use by large companies. The cost of construction also put them out of reach of most individuals. By the late 1980s, however, various technological advances in hardware - such as smaller semiconductors - and software had made it possible to build much smaller computers that could be operated by single end-users with only a general knowledge of computing. These improvements also made computers far more affordable.

In recent years, the year-on-year change in global PC shipments has been largely negative, although 2017 saw the market stabilize, falling only 0.2 percent from 2016 levels. In contrast, the U.S. PC market has remained relatively stable in terms of the PC units shipped. Imports of computers and computer accessories to the U.S. amounted to about 128.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. HP Inc remains the market share leader for personal computer shipments in the United States, responsible for shipping 31 percent of total PC shipments in the last quarter of 2016.

While the term PC is usually used to refer to a multi-component desktop computer, which is designed for use in a particular location, or a laptop computer, designed for easy portability, the market for computers has been shifting towards to the use of smartphones and tablets. The the installed-base share of tablets in the United States is forecast to increase to 56 percent by 2021, while both laptops and desktop PCs will see their share fall. The number of U.S. tablet users is forecast to reach about 185 million by 2020.

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