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PC Market Shift in Global Networked Economy

Worldwide personal computer (PC) shipments are projected to rise by 12.6 percent in 2007 to 257.5 million units, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

This projection represents a slight increase from IDC's previous forecast, reflecting a 28 percent year-on-year increase in portable PC volume with single-digit increases for Desktops and x86 Servers.

This update increases projections for 2007 by less than half a point from the June 2007 forecast of 12.2 percent and increases the compound annual growth rate for 2006-2011 from 9.3 percent to 9.6 percent.

Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) and Rest of World are driving the raised expectations. Strong growth during the second quarter showed not only relentless adoption of Consumer Portable PCs, but also gains in Desktop and Commercial markets.

In contrast, the United States, Western Europe, and Japan adjusted expectations for 2007 and 2008 slightly downward, pushing some growth into 2009. With slower growth in more developed markets and strong gains in emerging regions, the focus of the market is shifting rapidly to less developed markets.

According to IDC's assessment, both APeJ and Rest of World are now expected to surpass Western Europe in total PC shipment volume in 2007 and will pass the United States in 2009. I believe that this forecast -- while shocking to some people -- is actually in line with previously reported shifts within the global networked economy.

"Overall, we should expect to see strong growth for the next several years, with double-digit increases expected through 2009," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

The shift to mobility will continue to drive growth, as portable PCs are expected to represent more than 50 percent of shipment value during 2007 and more than half of worldwide volume by 2009. Portable share of PC Clients will reach 68 percent of volume in the United States and Western Europe by 2011, 44 percent in APeJ and Rest of World, and 55 percent overall.

"The U.S. market should maintain growth in mid-single digits through most of the forecast," said David Daoud, research manager, IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker and Personal Systems.

"Some pressure on spending related to the debt crunch may constrain 2008, but aggressive competition for fast growing Consumer demand, as well as resurgent Commercial spending will help fuel growth. Acer and Lenovo's geographic expansion, combined with Dell's reorganization and HP's defense of its share gains will make for a dynamic and competitive market. Smaller vendors are likely to face even more pressure going forward as the largest players consolidate share and reposition themselves."

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