PC shipments to grow this year as economies recover

IDC says PC shipments could total 354.8 million this year

The continuing economic recovery and growing interest in mobile devices will drive PC shipment growth by 19.8 percent this year compared to 2009, IDC said on Tuesday.

Consumers and enterprises opened up their wallets to buy PCs starting in the fourth quarter of 2009, IDC said. The sustained growth will continue through the end of this year, which could help increase PC shipments.

Worldwide PC shipments will total 354.8 million this year, compared to 296.1 million last year, IDC said. Shipments got off to a fast start in 2010, increasing by 27.1 percent year over year as PC prices dropped. IDC said that shipment volumes would continue to grow at a sustained pace, if not as fast as the first quarter, as consumers and enterprises refresh computers.

Shipments will be driven by growing interest in portable devices, especially in the emerging markets, IDC said. Portable PC devices should total 217.2 million this year, compared to 169 million last year. Portable PCs will also take a larger market share -- about 70 percent -- from desktops by 2012.

The volume growth of mini-laptops like netbooks is expected to be "moderate," IDC said. Netbooks and other mini-laptops will take up about 12 percent of total PC shipments in 2010. Intel CEO Paul Otellini earlier this year estimated netbook shipments to be hovering around the 20 percent range of total PC shipments.

"New devices such as e-readers and media tablets will pose disruptive challenges to conventional usage models while opening up intriguing possibilities in consumer and mobile business spaces," said Jay Chou, research analyst at IDC, in the statement.

The research firm did not return calls seeking comment on whether tablet shipments were accounted for in the portable PC shipments. IDC last month projected tablet shipments to reach 7 million this year, and top 46 million in 2014.

Desktop PC shipments will see slower growth compared to laptops, driven partly by enterprise refreshes and the increased popularity of specialized designs like all-in-one PCs, IDC said. Worldwide desktop shipments will total 137.6 million this year, compared to 127.1 million last year, a growth rate of 8.2 percent.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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