Worldwide PC shipments reached almost 35 million units in the first quarter of 2003, with a value of $42.2bn (£25.4bn), industry analysts said yesterday.
According to IDC, year-on-year PC shipment growth of three per cent in the first quarter was slightly better than expected, although limited economic improvement and the outbreak of Sars are reducing expectations for the second half of the year.
The analyst predicted that total shipments for 2003 are now expected to reach 145.2 million on growth of 6.3 per cent, followed by growth of 10.3 per cent in 2004.
Total shipment value is expected to decline 2.4 per cent in 2003 to $169bn, followed by growth of 3.5 per cent in 2004.
"PC demand remains limited despite improvements from last year," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
"We've seen only limited recovery in business shipments, while consumer growth has slowed in recent quarters and public sector shipments are falling.
"Growing consumer and business confidence, as well as system replacements, will boost growth in the second half of the year, but we won't see double digit growth until 2004."
In western Europe, the outlook for business PC shipments improved as the market recovered from flat shipments in the fourth quarter.
But the study warned that business investment remains limited and the consumer market continues to struggle, with limited improvement and total 2003 growth expected to be just 3.9 per cent.
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