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Report: PC Sales To Grow 20 Percent This Year

Things may be turning around in the PC market, according to new analysis by IDC.

IDC reported this week that it expects revenue in the 2010 PC market to surpass a peak that was last set in 2008. The main growth driver will come from mainstream notebooks, IDC predicts, based on its June "Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker" report. Netbooks, which IDC calls "mininotebook PCs," will play less of a role in driving PC sales, staying at less than 12 percent of sales, the analyst firm predicts.

The desktop PC is not quite dead yet, with IDC expecting growth of "over 8% in 2010." This positive expectation is based on the idea that businesses will start buying new PCs and "the popularity of All-in-One PCs." It also arises from a low earlier benchmark -- or, as IDC puts it, "a dismal 2009" for desktop PCs. However, a table accompanying IDC's announcement shows relatively flat figures for desktop PC sales -- at least in the U.S. market -- over the next four years.

Global PC sales grew 27 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared with last year's first quarter, according to IDC. The analyst firm expects to see a growth rate of 20 percent overall for global PC sales for the whole of this year.

The market will face some disruption from new portable PCs hitting the market, according to Jay Chou, an IDC research analyst.

"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," Chou said, in a released statement. The success of the new devices will depend on balancing the benefits of portability with having the ability to produce "creative content" on the new devices.

IDC forecasts that total worldwide PC shipments will grow from 296 million in 2009 to 570 million in 2014. In the U.S. market, total PC shipments will grow from 70 million in 2009 to 121 million in 2014, IDC predicts.

Forrester Research analysts, looking at the U.S. consumer PC market, also see some upward trends.

"Over the next five years, PC unit sales across all form factors will increase by 52%," stated Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, in a recent blog post. "In fact, desktops are the only type of PC whose numbers will be fewer in 2015 than they are today -- and even desktops will benefit from innovation in gaming and 3D."

Forrester predicts that "growth will come from new form factors like tablets, but laptop sales will increase steadily also." Tablets will start outselling netbooks in 2012, according to Forrester's report, "The US Consumer PC Market In 2015." Forrester's report, like that of IDC, also sees PCs as not quite dead yet.

"Fewer desktops will be sold in 2015 than in 2010, but in 2015, they'll still be used by more consumers than any other type of PC," Rotman Epps stated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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