IDC Calls for PC Market to Grow 15 Percent

The research firm finds that vendors will ship 310 million PCs in 2008.

The worldwide PC market is expected to grow 15 percent in 2008, with portable PCs, such as notebooks, ensuring that the market will continue to grow at a double-digit rate for the next several years, according to revised estimates from IDC.

In 2008, IDC is calling for notebooks shipments to reach 310 million units, according to a new estimate released June 11. The research firm had originally called for shipments to increase about 12.8 percent from 2007 to 2008.

Overall, the value of the PC market is expected to increase 9.6 percent to a total of $286 billion this year.

IDC researchers revised their outlook after finding stronger-than-expected demand for laptops and other portable PCs. In addition, the firm decided to include a number of low-cost PCs, such as the Asus Eee PC, the Classmate design from Intel and the One Laptop Per Child XO laptop, after excluding the category in previous estimates.

"These systems had previously been excluded due to use of non-traditional PC designs, including the use of embedded or custom operating systems, reduced processing power and storage, and questions about actual production volumes versus declared targets," according to the IDC report. "However, the latest versions of these systems are now more robust, meeting IDC's criteria to be considered PCs, and actual shipment volumes are rising."

The inclusion of these laptops, coupled with more demand for notebooks by enterprise buyers and consumers, ensures that the PC market will grow by double digits through 2010 before dropping down to single digits by 2011.

In 2008, shipments of laptops are expected to grow by 34 percent, while desktops are only expected to increase by about 2 percent. In the United States, desktop shipments are expected to decrease by more than 5 percent, while portable shipments will increase by about 19 percent.

Overall, PC shipments in the United States will increase 5.7 percent in 2008 and 5 percent in 2009, before a gradual up tick in shipments begins in 2010.

While mature markets such as the United States and Western Europe are beginning to show signs of slowing, the emerging markets have begun to pick up the slack.

For the first time, the Asia/Pacific market, excluding Japan, surpassed the United States as the world's largest PC market. By 2012, this market, along with the emerging regions of Latin America, Central Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada, will account for 59 percent global PC volume. In 2007, these markets accounted for 48 percent.