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Global PC Market Returns To Growth

IT spending will gradually pick up in upcoming quarters, IDC says.
The global PC market has returned to quarterly growth, with double-digit, year-over-year gains expected through 2013, a research firm said Thursday.

Following three consecutive quarters of decline, overall PC shipments in the third quarter rose 2.3% from the same period a year, IDC said, updating its October forecast of a 2% increase in the quarter. Lower prices and consumer laptops were the key drivers. Shipments of mobile PCs increased 33.5% from a year ago, with mini-laptops, called netbooks, seeing a 37% gain over the second quarter.

While shipments of commercial PCs continued to fall, the rate of decline started to slow in the third quarter, an indication that IT spending will gradually pick up in upcoming quarters, the analyst firm said.

As a result of the strong showing in the third quarter, IDC predicted that PC shipments for 2009 will rise by 1.3% over 2008, setting the stage for further gains through 2013. In 2010, desktop shipments will be roughly flat, while laptop shipments rise 18.1%, IDC forecast. Netbook shipments will continue to grow, but at a slower rate, as computer makers introduce new ultra-thin portables at competing prices.

"Once again, the PC market shows its resiliency," IDC analyst Loren Loverde said in a statement. "The speed of market stabilization and growth in key segments reflect the essential role of personal computing today. Technology evolution and falling prices remain a compelling combination. As commercial spending recovers in 2010, we expect to see robust growth over the next several years."

In terms of year-over-year growth, 2010 will see a 10.3% rise; 2011 a 12% increase; 2012 a 11.9% rise; and 2013 a 10.3% rise, according to IDC. Computer makers will ship 291.4 million units this year; 321.4 million next year; 360.1 million in 2011; 402.9 million in 2012; and 444.4 million in 2013, IDC predicted.

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