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Report: Inexpensive, Portable PCs To Drive PC Market

IDC expects worldwide shipment growth to come in slightly under 15 percent for the fourth quarter of 2005.
Low-cost and portable PCs should continue to drive unit growth of the personal computer market in 2006, according to a report issued Tuesday by IDC.

The market research firm expects worldwide shipment growth to come in slightly under 15 percent for the fourth quarter of 2005. IDC looks for the value of shipments to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 3.5 percent in 2006 and 3.6 percent from 2005-2009. IDC said it looks for PC shipments to be valued at more than $250 billion in 2009.

"The fact that solid double-digit growth has continued through 2005 shows that the market recovery did not peak in 2004 as many expected, but is still ongoing," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, in a statement. "The market may slow in 2006, but persistent growth over the past several years shows the appeal of low-cost and portable systems"

IDC expects total PC shipments to nearly reach the 300 million-unit mark in 2009.

In its worldwide regional breakdown, the market research firm said the continued demand in consumer and commercial segments in the U.S. is prompting a slight growth expectation for 2006 with portable PCs as the chief catalyst. IDC expects portables will account for more than 50 percent of client PC shipments by 2008 in the U.S.

However, in Europe a weakening of the Euro against the dollar has caused IDC to slightly lower its prediction for 2006. It expects business to continue on an even keel in Asia/Pacific markets in spite of the bird flu threat, rising oil prices, and other factors. IDC cautioned that the Japanese PC market could be challenged due to pressure on commercial spending and rising oil prices as well as questions about the durability of consumer demand in that country.

All in all, IDC expects worldwide PC shipments to grow by nearly 15.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, slightly ahead of the pace of the year-earlier fourth quarter.