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A Total of 269 Million PCs Shipped in 2007

Worldwide PC shipments grew by 15.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 (4Q07), according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

In EMEA the consumer and back-to-school rush that drove more than 20 percent growth in 3Q07 subsided, but shipments continued to expand rapidly -- outpacing growth in the prior five quarters. Other markets also performed well with growth in the United States rising to 8.8 percent and stronger than expected results in Japan and Latin America.

On an annual basis, total shipments reached 269.0 million units in 2007 with growth of 14.3 percent. HP took the top spot with volume of over 50.5 million, with Dell in second with volume of 40.0 million. Acer moved into third with volume of 21.2 million excluding Gateway's business for the first three quarters and 24.6 million including Gateway, followed by Lenovo with 20.2 million.

"Fourth quarter results show a very healthy PC market," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

"There is a lot happening with vendors repositioning their channels and going after new markets while falling prices and portable adoption continue to drive volume. Despite fourth quarter strength, projections for the next couple years anticipate slower growth. Rising concerns about economic growth are likely to reduce expectations further, although we're still likely to see double digit growth through 2008 and probably 2009."

"The better than expected growth in the U.S. market can be largely attributed to channel realignment among key players, particularity through the retail expansion of Dell and Acer," said David Daoud, research manager, Personal Computing.

The results, however, do not reflect changes in the fundamentals of demand. Consumers continue to be attracted by mobile platforms and are benefiting from the proliferation of channels and heightened competition, which continue to bring prices down.

Going forward, demand could soften further if bad news over the economy persists and consumer confidence worsens.

The United States market saw growth rise to nearly 9 percent as expansion of retail channels and competition among major vendors drove volume. Dell turned a corner, boosting shipments by over 15 percent and expanding its lead following gains by HP over the past year. Overall market growth is a good sign and shows the impact of competition and holiday demand. However, IDC remains conservative about growth prospects for 2008 based on economic concerns.

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