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IDC Sees Healthy Worldwide PC Market

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to reach 40.15 million units in the fourth quarter, according to recently released forecasts from industry analysts IDC. Despite slowing in the U.S. and European markets, the report shows that emerging markets will more than pick up the slack.

“Although it’s clear consumer demand in the United States is weakening, buying in other regions remains strong,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide PC Tracker program.

In the United States, consumer spending was strong through the third quarter, but early warning signs point to a reduced consumer market in the fourth quarter. IDC feels that consumer demand in the U.S. market will remain depressed for two to three quarters before picking up again.

In Western Europe, consumer sales were healthy, while the corporate sector appeared to be to blame for lowered estimates. The slower uptake of business IT investment in the second half led IDC to lower fourth-quarter predictions for this market to 15.1 percent year on year from a previous prediction of 19 percent.

Asia/Pacific continued to grow aggressively, with year on year growth of 42.7 percent in the third quarter, surpassing expectations by 6.5 percentage points. As a result of larger than expected growth in the Asia/Pacific market, IDC’s revised forecasts for fourth-quarter shipment growth are now at 33.4 percent year on year.

Fourth-quarter growth projections were also revised upward in the Japanese market, to 29.4 percent year on year, following a slower than expected third quarter. Strong consumer demand from repeat and first-time buyers, as well as recovering business investments, drive the market there.

The portables market was strong in the third quarter, with worldwide shipments up 33 percent year on year. The U.S., Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific all strongly outperformed expectations, and IDC expects the portables market to grow by 32 percent worldwide in the fourth quarter.

The revised forecasts show total PC shipment slipping to 16.6 percent worldwide for 2001, down from 18.8 percent in 2000. Worldwide growth is expected to slow further in the longer term as both business and consumer market saturation increases and growth in emerging markets moderates. – Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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