The continued drive to replace desktops with notebooks, coupled with the emergence of low cost models, will drive double digit growth of worldwide PC shipments for several years to come, a report from IDC claims.
IDC predicts that global PC shipments will rise 15.2 per cent to 310 million this year, with a 9.6 per cent increase in value to more than $286bn. (£146bn). Shipment growth is projected to swell by double digits until 2010, rising to over 390 million in that period. High single digit growth is expected for two years thereafter, swelling total shipments to in excess of 470 million in 2012. The value of shipments is projected to grow by 5-6 per cent per annum from next year to a total of about $354bn in 2012.
The Asia Pacific region, (excluding Japan), surpassed the US as the world's leading region for shipments during Q4 2007. The Rest of the World region, (comprising Canada, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa), is projected to overtake the US and move into second spot in total shipments this year.
IDC's estimate of a 15.2 per cent hike in shipments marks an increase on its prediction, made in March of this year, of 12.8 per cent growth. IDC attributed this to the fortitude of the notebook market, as continued emphasis is placed on migrating from desktops. Very low-cost notebooks, such as Asus’s Eee PC and the XO from the One Laptop Per Child initiative, were also singled out as drivers for the increased growth. IDC indicated that the improved robustness and performance of some such models had allowed them to be classified as PCs for the first time.
Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said: "Even as the PC market grapples with slower growth in more developed markets, adoption cycles for new operating systems, processors and other components, and convergence of media and devices, the success of portable PCs continues to drive the market. Despite recent economic pressure, the consistent gains fuelled by Portable adoption, falling prices, and new users – particularly in emerging regions – will continue to drive growth during the forecast."
Richard Shim, research manager of IDC's Personal Computing programme, added: "Earlier in the year, the U.S. PC industry had held its breath regarding the impact of the economic slowdown on PC shipments. It is now clear that the commercial market will not see the refresh activity we had previously expected and we have lowered short-term projections as a result. Still, the consumer market remains relatively healthy and the overall US. PC market will chug along at decent levels – albeit slower than previous forecasts and other regions – while consumer growth continues."
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