PC Shipments Looking Up

IDC raises its PC unit shipment forecast for 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The PC markets outlook is improving, a new report says.

IDC has raised its forecasts for shipment growth in 2006, 2007 and 2008 following a first-quarter 2006 that topped expectations.

The improved outlook for 2006 comes thanks to notebooks continued strength and despite the combination of delays with broad availability of Microsofts Windows Vista operating system, now scheduled for January 2007, and slower than expected first-quarter growth in the United States and Western Europe.

Thanks to growth in the remaining markets, worldwide PC shipments grew 12.6 percent during the first quarter of 2006, topping IDCs March 2006 prediction of 11.8 percent, a report by the Framingham, Mass., company says. IDC updates its PC market forecasts quarterly.

PC unit shipment growth in 2006 is now expected by IDC to reach 10.8 percent, up from a March forecast of 10.5 percent. The company also raised its outlook for 2007 by about 1 percent to 11.7 percent and increased its 2008 growth projections slightly to 10.6 percent. Total worldwide PC unit shipments are projected to reach a hair over 230 million in 2006, about 257 million in 2007 and almost 285 million in 2008, IDCs report said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead here about the rise of small desktops.

The market will continue to expand through 2010, IDC predicts, despite lowering its 2009 and 2010 growth rates slightly in its latest forecast. During 2010, the PC market will reach almost 334 million units, IDC said, with revenue of $271 billion, up from just under $254 billion in 2008.

/zimages/6/131053.jpg While the numbers seem big, the PC makers will continue to be under pressure, IDC said in its report.

Worldwide unit shipment growth rates, despite showing double digits, will be lower than in more recent years—during 2005 worldwide unit shipments increased by 16 percent—and PC revenue growth will be fairly sedate. Revenue will grow by low-to-mid single digits overall annually but could take hits in more mature markets, due to slowing shipment growth and aggressive pricing.

Overall, revenue is expected to increase by 3 to 5 percent annually through 2010, IDC said in its report.

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