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PC Market Growth Tops 17 Percent

Worldwide PC shipments increased by more than 17 percent in the third quarter despite rising interest rates and oil prices, and a more conservative economic outlook, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The appeal of both low-cost and portable systems continued to drive substantial growth. International markets continued to grow quickly, but even U.S. shipments grew by 11 percent over the prior year. The latest data show total worldwide PC shipments increasing by 17.1 percent year on year versus an August forecast of 13.3 percent.

Regional Outlook

United States � A strong back-to-school season provided a boost to the market and mid-tier vendors performed well following distribution channel adjustments. Hurricane Katrina likely had some impact on the last month of the quarter, although a larger impact is expected for the fourth quarter as rising fuel prices and falling consumer confidence contribute to economic and inflationary worries.

EMEA � Small business and consumer purchases related to European Union expansion, general infrastructure investments, and low prices continued to fuel the surge in both portable and desktop systems. A solid back-to-school market and overall strong growth set the stage for a robust fourth quarter.

Japan � The consumer market continued to improve, pushing growth into double-digits in response to attractive new product launches. The commercial market also remained strong despite expectations of slowing growth.

Asia/Pacific � Rising oil prices and measures to control the Chinese economy have done little to constrain PC growth. Low prices and rising adoption continued to fuel both business and consumer purchases. Demand for portable PCs, which now account for over 20 percent of total shipments, also remained strong.

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