If I had to do it all over again…

I’d launch the AI PC differently.

Jon Peddie

With Monday-morning wisdom and insight, the launch of the AI PC could have gone better and smoother if the participants had been more enlightened and cooperated about when and what.

By best accounts, the term AI PC was introduced by Intel at its Developer Conference in September 2023. Then, in January 2024, AMD announced a dedicated AI neural processing unit for desktop PCs. Three months later, Microsoft announced the release of two new AI-powered PCs, along with advances in its management portal and the commercial availability of its Microsoft Adaptive Accessories. Canalys predicted 48 million AI-capable PCs will ship in 2024 (18% of total PC shipments) and the AI PC would surpass 100 million in 2025. The era of the AI PC was upon us.

And then people started asking, What the hell is an AI PC?

Confusion and multiple definitions followed, and if you asked someone today, you’d still get a mixed answer.


Because, trying desperately to reassume its leadership position in the PC market, Intel jumped the gun. Mind you, this is Monday-morning quarterbacking, but the way it should have worked was AMD, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Qualcomm should have gotten together, agreed on the definition, worked with Microsoft on getting some apps in place, and then made their individual announcements—but using a common definition and a go-to app to try it. This collaborative approach could have avoided the confusion and made the launch more effective, benefiting all the stakeholders involved.

So, the consumers are confused. The market research firms and industry analysts are writing press releases and white papers to explain it, each one different, by the way, and we end up with a lot of wasted time, lost marketing money, and any pent-up demand from the consumer.

And this ethereal AI PC was supposed to stir corporations and consumers to update their PCs. How’s that working out? Well, there was an uptick in PC shipments in Q1’24, but none of them (except the ones with high-end AMD or Nvidia GPUs) were AI PCs.

So a major missed opportunity, but time heals all wounds, and even a few million in marketing misfires, but at least it woke up the PC market, and now we have a new term we can pretend we know what it means—NPU. We can add that to our alphabet soup vocabulary of LLM, TPU, RAG, TOPS, and G-AI.

Computex is coming, and it will all be sorted out there. Spoiler alert: Every, E-V-E-R-Y, booth will have a large sign declaring the company as an AI company. Many will be either AI PCs or AI PC enablers. It’ll be grand. You’ll be handed buttons that say, I am AI. T-shirts will be shot into the crowds with just AI in big letters, like Vault 33.

And if you stop and ask any of the exhibitors, “What’s an AI PC?” They will say, “What would you like it to be?”