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Majority of new PCs to be AI PCs in 2024

Zhu Shenshen
Firms are establishing an AI PC ecosystem in China which will allow users to personalize the user experience on a deeper level while protecting data privacy, a Beijing forum heard.
Zhu Shenshen
Majority of new PCs to be AI PCs in 2024
Ti Gong

The AI PC penetration rate (blue) is growing rapidly in China, according to an AI PC industry whitepaper released on Thursday.

More than half of new computers sold in China, the world's biggest PC market, will be AI PCs in 2024, meaning computers with on-device artificial intelligence capabilities, according to an industry white paper released on Thursday.

AI PCs, which can operate AI apps such as ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion on PC devices locally, can personalize the user experience on a deeper level while protecting data privacy. The new type of PC is about to reshape and revitalize the personal computer industry, industry experts said.

In China, 54.7 percent new PCs will be AI PCs in 2024, compared with 8.1 percent in 2023. The figure will rise to 84.6 percent in 2027, according to an AI PC industry whitepaper, which was published by Lenovo Group Ltd and International Data Corp (IDC) at an AI PC forum held on Thursday in Beijing.

In 2024, AI will be a "must-have feature and mainstream choice" in the PC industry, Wang Jieping, IDC China's vice president, told the forum.

Lenovo, the world's PC market leader, announced its AI for All Pioneer plan to support developers and woo consumers through telling them what to do in new AI PCs.

Generally speaking, AI PC features deep integration of AI technology with PCs, equipped with higher computing power processors and fused with multi-modal algorithms, like text-to-image or voice-to-video. It will make millions of computers truly "create and learn," to automatically build artwork presentations, make music, synthesize knowledge, and work smarter and safer.

It's the first AI PC whitepaper specifically for the Chinese market.

Considering Lenovo's leading position and PC sales size in China, AI PC will create huge market influence in the country, IDC said.

But IDC points out that AI PC's definition consists of two parts, as AI Ready in the initial stage for PCs with AI chips and capabilities and AI On, which means AI models have fully operated in PCs. Currently, all AI PCs are AI Ready models, according to IDC.

Almost all tech giants, from AMD, Intel, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, and NVIDIA to Qualcomm, released AI PC plans and upgrades in recent months. This created new demand, heated up competition, and is reshaping the landscape among the tech giants, said researchers including IDC and TrendForce.

An enriched Ecosystem in China

Besides Lenovo and IDC, firms including chip maker Intel, AI model developer Alibaba and STAR-listed Kingsoft Office attended the AI PC forum to enrich the whole ecosystem.

Intel, the world's top CPU vendor, will release new chips for AI PC in China next week, with AI capabilities "surging eight times." Globally, it plans to enable AI on more than 100 million PCs through 2025.

Majority of new PCs to be AI PCs in 2024
Ti Gong

AI PC will create new opportunities in the whole industry chain and stock market, said Fang Jing, a principal analyst of Minsheng Securities.

AI PC has become a booming catalyst and offers opportunities for related listed firms, covering PC, ODM (original design manufacturer), chip, component, AI app, Fang Jing, principal electronics analyst of Minsheng Securities, told the forum.

AI PC will fuel the demand for new materials, covering better cooling or lightweight design for more calculation requirement and components. Meanwhile, more localized large language models, or LLMs, will be adopted in AI PCs, Fang added.

Compared with cloud-based generative AI services, AI PCs generate and use data locally, rather than forcing it into the cloud. This safeguards personal privacy, business patents, or other sensitive information protection and copyright issues, industry officials told the forum.

Besides safety issues, Chinese developers are engaging in developing specific AI apps for domestic consumers.

For example, NetEase Youdao plans to debut its AI-powered oral English learning tool in the coming AI PCs. Kingsoft Office plans to expands its WPS AI, regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Microsoft's Office, in AI PCs.

WPS AI is a productivity tool which naturally fits with AI PC. People can deal with personal documents and company business information in WPS AI in computers.

"It's not safe and necessary to send them (data and files) into the cloud (AI services like ChatGPT). An AI PC is powerful enough to handle," Chen Bo, assistant to president of Kingsoft Office, told the forum.

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