The appeal of low-cost and portable PCs will continue to drive double-digit growth in the personal computer market in 2006, despite fewer PC replacements and slower economic growth, according to the latest forecast from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
Following third-quarter growth of more than 17 per cent year on year, worldwide PC shipments are now expected to grow by nearly 15 per cent in the fourth quarter, boosting annual growth a half point ahead of the 15.3 per cent rate in 2004 to 15.8 per cent in 2005 and raising the outlook for growth in 2006 to 10.5 per cent.
Although growth is still expected to slow in the months ahead, the recent strength of the overall market, particularly in portable PC adoption, has contributed to rising expectations in all major regions except Japan.
"Following the shocks of 2001 and 2002 many people were impressed with the strength of the market in 2004 but cautious about the foundation and longevity of this growth," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
"The fact that solid double-digit growth has continued through 2005 shows that the market recovery did not peak in 2004 as many expected but is still ongoing.
"The market may slow in 2006, but persistent growth over the past several years shows the appeal of low-cost and portable systems and the potential for both a longer recovery and a higher rate of long-term growth."
The latest forecast update increases IDC's predicted market growth from earlier projections of 12.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2005, 14.1 per cent for full year 2005, and 9.1 per cent in 2006.
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