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ITWeb TV: Demand for AI-based PCs on the rise in SA

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 28 Jun 2024
Yesh Surjodeen, managing director of HP Southern Africa, talks to ITWeb TV about the hype around AI-based PCs in the South African market. #itwebtv #hp #channel

PC maker HP is seeing increased demand for artificial intelligence (AI)-powered laptops in South Africa, says Yesh Surjoodeen, MD of HP Southern Africa, in an interview with ITWeb TV.

According to Surjoodeen, the company is now also witnessing growth in demand for PCs after the market experienced shipment declines over the past two years.

A recent report by market analyst firm Canalys shows the worldwide PC market had a healthy start to 2024, with total shipments of desktops and notebooks growing 3.2% annually, to 57.2 million units in Q1 2024.

Notebook shipments (including mobile workstations) were up 4.2% to 45.1 million units, while desktop shipments (including desktop workstations) were relatively flat, down just 0.4% at 12.1 million units, says the report.

Though modest, it adds, this growth highlights the ongoing recovery in PC demand across all segments, with purchases set to accelerate throughout the year, supported by the tailwinds of Windows 11 refresh and AI-capable PCs.

“We are starting to see a growing demand for PCs. The requirements of our customers are beginning to change and hybrid working is an important driver for PCs,” says Surjoodeen.

“As AI started to gain more adoption, it gained two things – one was interest but also the need for education around what AI means for organisations. As new technology comes in, there are also risks associated with it. We need to do more about education.”

Canalys predicts that an estimated 48 million AI-capable PCs will ship worldwide in 2024, representing 18% of total PC shipments.

Yesh Surjoodeen, MD of HP Southern Africa.
Yesh Surjoodeen, MD of HP Southern Africa.

The market research firm says this is the start of a major market transition, with AI-capable PC shipments projected to surpass 100 million in 2025 − 40% of all PC shipments. In 2028, Canalys expects vendors to ship 205 million AI-capable PCs, representing a compound annual growth rate of 44% between 2024 and 2028.

“AI PCs now contribute a lot of data processing on the edge; you can’t have all your data sitting in the cloud. We have seen that in different industries and with different customers,” Surjoodeen says.

“AI PCs will become a fundamental part of our ecosystem in South Africa. This is because you will have the speed to process information quicker, which you can do with a lot less latency. The other thing is the security that comes with AI.”

According to Surjoodeen, the most important thing about an AI PC is that it has a neural processing unit, which allows users to better manage the workloads.