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Double Digit PC Market Growth in 2006

The appeal of low-cost and portable PCs will continue to drive double-digit growth of the personal computer market in 2006, despite fewer PC replacements and slower economic growth, according to the latest forecast from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Following third quarter growth of more than 17 percent year on year, worldwide PC shipments are now expected to grow by nearly 15 percent in the fourth quarter, boosting annual growth a half point ahead of the 15.3 percent rate in 2004 to 15.8 percent in 2005 and raising the outlook for growth in 2006 to 10.5 percent. Although growth is still expected to slow in the months ahead, the recent strength of the overall market, and particularly in portable PC adoption, has contributed to rising expectations in all major regions except Japan.

"Following the shocks of 2001 and 2002 many people were impressed with the strength of the market in 2004 but cautious about the foundation and longevity of this growth," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC. "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. The market may slow in 2006, but persistent growth over the past several years shows the appeal of low-cost and portable systems and the potential for both a longer recovery and a higher rate of long-term growth."

The latest forecast update boosts growth from earlier projections of 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, 14.1 percent for full year 2005, and 9.1 percent in 2006. The updated figures make 2006 the fourth consecutive year of double-digit shipment growth and raises the four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2005-2009 to 9.4 percent.

Total shipments are expected to reach nearly 300 million units annually in 2009. Shipment value is expected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2006 with a CAGR of 3.6 percent from 2005-2009, increasing the value of shipments to more than $250 billion annually in 2009.

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