PC Market: Here Comes the Sun

Top markets like the U.S., Japan, and Western Europe should see 2010 come in at 7.2 percent, with double-digit volume growth expected to return next year.

After a 2009 most PC vendors would like to forget -- except perhaps Acer, which passed Dell to become the world's second-ranked vendor behind HP -- PC sales will begin to improve this year thanks to steep discounts and improving global economic conditions, according to market researcher IDC.

IDC's) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker projects the rate of global overall growth in 2010 to be 12.6 percent, well beyond 2009's 2.9 percent growth. Emerging regions like BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), which have been leading the revival of the market so far, are expected to continue their lead, growing 18.5 percent and overtaking mature markets in volume during 2010 and beyond.

Mature markets like the U.S., Japan, and Western Europe should see 2010 come in at 7.2 percent, with double-digit volume growth expected to return in 2011.

Market researcher Gartner has made similar predictions of a rebound in 2010, just not as big as IDC's forecast.

"With lean margins and further market consolidation remaining a harsh reality for the foreseeable future, vendors are increasingly looking to a mix of volume and specialized products to grow revenue, including new combinations of portability, performance, and the intriguing possibilities of touch computing," Jay Chou, research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said in a statement.

The imbalance of consumer versus business purchases was apparent in 2009, with consumer portable PC sales up 38.5 percent thanks to the popular netbook category. Commercial shipments were negative for much of the year, but thanks to a burst at the end of the year, came in up by just under 1 percent for the year.

Portable PCs will be the driver of growth across both consumer and commercial segments, IDC says, reaching a 70 percent share of PC sales by 2012. Laptops will grow from 42.5 million units in the U.S. in 2009 to 92.4 million units by 2014, and from 126.4 million units internationally in 2009 to 305.7 million in 2014.

Desktop sales, however, are not going away. In the U.S., for example, they will decline from 27.5 million units in the U.S. in 2009 to 24.7 million by 2014. Worldwide, because desktops are cheaper and thus more palatable to the emerging markets, they will grow slightly, from 99.6 million in 2009 to 108.5 million in 2014, according to IDC.

Read the rest at Hardware Central.






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