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PC Growth Boosted by Portable Adoption

Worldwide PC shipments continued to grow at a healthy pace in the second quarter of 2008 (2Q08), according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Shipments were up 15.3 percent from a year ago -- slightly more than second quarter projections and first quarter growth of 14.9 percent. Solid growth in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region helped offset slower growth in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ).

"Despite the economic headwinds, the PC market continued to show its resilience," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Product refreshes, vendor competition for channels, and aggressive pricing add to the ongoing trend toward Portable computing in attracting buyers. The steady growth, despite the pressure on consumer finances, reflects the increasingly important role of PCs within personal technology, and steady improvements in price and design.

Nevertheless, economic pressures are mounting and PC market growth is expected to decline over the next year. The relatively strong PC market in recent quarters does not mean that the sector is immune to the changing economic environment.

"As expected, the U.S. market had a sluggish performance, with growth in low single-digits due to budgetary constraints among both consumers and businesses. Despite a tough economic environment, some vendors executed well, in particular Dell with its channel and retail expansion," said David Daoud, research manager, Personal Computing.

Given the current economic fundamentals, demand could remain depressed in the coming quarters if economic pressures continue, even with sustained price decreases.

In line with expectations, demand in the United States suffered from ongoing economic pressures. Growth was in the low single-digits as consumer and businesses tightened their PC spending budgets. Portable adoption remains a key market driver, even though consumer share is generally at its lowest during the second quarter.

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