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IDC Global PC Sales Forecast – Going Up

Strong demand in international markets, and especially for notebooks, will likely drive worldwide sales of new PCs this year to well over 200 million units, research firm IDC said this week.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report says the firm’s analysts expect total PC shipments in the second half of 2005 to reach nearly 110 million, bringing totals for the year to around 204.6 million. That represents a year-to-year growth rate of 14.1 percent from 2004. But as volumes increase, so does the installed base, and previous percentage gains become harder to match – 2004’s growth over 2003 was 15.3 percent.

The projections reflect a slight upward revision in predicted sales by Framingham, Mass.-based IDC. In this latest report, IDC analysts expect sales of new PCs to grow at a rate of 12.9 percent in the second half of 2005. In its May Quarterly PC Tracker report, IDC had projected total sales in the second half of around 107 million units, and growth of 10.4 percent over the second half of 2004.

The biggest drivers in the second half are likely to be consumer segments in Western Europe as well as Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and Canada, IDC says in this week’s report. Sales of portable PCs are expected to be especially strong.

Commercial PC sales will be in the neighborhood of 39.5 million for the United States this year, with total commercial sales worldwide coming to about 128.6 million. The balance will be consumer purchases. Currently, IDC is predicting 2006 sales of commercial PCs in the United States of 42.1 million, and 140.5 million globally.

Additionally, growth rates for 2006-2008 are expected to run at roughly 9 percent, then slow to 8.3 percent in 2009. IDC describes its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker as based on PC market data gathered in 55 countries.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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