Laptops fuel strong worldwide PC sales, says IDC

Growth rate far surpasses desktop increase; laptop share of PC market approaching 50%

Strong laptop sales are making this a hot holiday shopping season for PC makers, according to a report from IDC.

In its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, IDC projects that worldwide PC shipments will increase by 16.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year, bolstered by the strong laptop sales. The growth projection is good news for manufacturers, who probably still vividly remember slogging through a slow second half of 2006. PC growth was merely 7.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2006.

This fourth quarter is expected to fuel 2007's overall growth rate of 14.6 per cent, up from 10.1 per cent in 2006, IDC reported.

"The peak portable growth seen in the third quarter will be difficult to sustain, but it reflects strong demand across regions and segments that will fuel growth going forward," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, in a statement. "It will be increasingly important for PC vendors to have a strong portable offering to stay competitive as the market continues its rapid shift to mobile computing."

In the third quarter, worldwide laptop shipments grew 37 per cent, a rate that even edged out several major quarters in 2003 and 2005, when growth hit 35 per cent or slightly more.

This move to laptops has taken a toll on worldwide desktop shipments. Global desktop volumes continue to increase, thanks mostly to sales in emerging countries, but that percentage is in the low single digits.

Overall, however, the growth differential between desktops and laptops has never been larger. IDC reported that in the third quarter, laptop sales growth was more than 33 percentage points over desktop growth. That differential has not been more than 30 per cent since 1996.

The laptop share of client PCs nearly hit 45 per cent in the third quarter and is expected to reach 50 per cent by the end of 2008, IDC added.

"The significant influences driving the growth of portable PC volume include falling prices, the narrowing performance gap as compared with desktops, improving wireless connectivity, and the expanded access through retail channels," said Richard Shim, personal computing research manager at IDC. "The desktop market will aim to maintain share by emphasizing improvements in energy efficiency, shrinking case designs and emerging mainstream opportunities, such as gaming and all-in-one systems."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Sharon Gaudin

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?