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PC Growth Fueled by New Portable Adoption

Worldwide PC shipments are projected to grow by 15.2 percent in 2008 to reach 310 million units, according to IDC. Growth will remain in double-digits through 2010, followed by high single-digit growth through 2012, boosting annual shipments to over 472 million in 2012.

Overall volume growth, combined with a steady transition to Portable PCs, which generally cost more than Desktops, will help offset falling average prices. The total value of PC shipments is projected to grow by 9.6 percent in 2008 to more than $286 billion. Shipment value will continue to grow by 5-6 percent annually from 2009 through 2012, reaching nearly $354 billion by 2012.

Following years of strong growth, Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) surpassed the United States as the region with the largest PC market in total annual shipments at the end of 2007.

At the same time, Rest Of World (ROW) – composed of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Canada -- is not far behind. ROW led other regions on a quarterly basis in Q4 2007, and is projected to move from third to second rank on an annual basis in 2008.

The United States -- holding the top rank before 2007 -- continues to grow in mid single-digit rates, but has seen growth well behind better than 20 percent increases in emerging regions. As growth in emerging regions continues to outpace gains in more developed markets, they are expected to expand their lead.

By 2012, APeJ and ROW will account for nearly 59 percent of global volume, up from just over 48 percent at the end of 2007.

The latest forecast increases 2008 unit growth from 12.8 percent in IDC's March forecast. The increase is due to a revised outlook for Portables in which IDC expects a longer run of elevated portable PC growth than in earlier projections.

Key factors driving the continuing strength of Portable shipments, even in the face of economic pressure, are a greater emphasis on replacing Desktops with Portables and the emergence of ultra low-cost notebook PCs.

"Even as the PC market grapples with slower growth in more developed markets, adoption cycles for new operating systems, processors, and other components, and convergence of media and devices, the success of portable PCs continues to drive the market," said Loren Loverde, director at IDC.

"Despite recent economic pressure, the consistent gains fueled by Portable adoption, falling prices, and new users -- particularly in emerging regions -- will continue to drive growth during the forecast."

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