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By | Kelly Fiveash 12th June 2008 15:10

US PC sales sputter amidst economic gloom

But laptop shipments boost worldwide growth

Worldwide PC shipments will outshine previous growth forecasts for 2008 according to IDC, which attributed the rise to robust sales of portable computers.

The research firm said yesterday that it now expects to see worldwide computer shipments rise 15.2 per cent over last year’s figures. That’s an increase of 2.5 points on IDC’s initial 2008 forecast, made in March.

Portable computers are helping to offset slow desktop PC growth in the economically gloomy US, said IDC. According to IDC, the US has seen growth in mid single digits, well behind the 20 per cent increases in emerging regions. Asia/Pacific excluding Japan market surpassed the United States on annual shipments at the end of last year.

"Earlier in the year, the US PC industry had held its breath regarding the impact of the economic slowdown on PC shipments," said IDC research manager Richard Shim. "It's now clear that the commercial market will not see the refresh activity we had previously expected and we have lowered short-term projections as a result.

“Still, the consumer market remains relatively healthy and the overall US PC market will chug along at decent levels – albeit slower than previous forecasts and other regions – while consumer growth continues."

The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company predicts global PC shipments will total 310 million units this year, up from 269 million last year.

It reckoned the total value of PC shipments will grow by nearly 10 per cent this year to $286bn.

IDC projected shipments of all computers to grow at double digit rates in percentage terms in 2009 and 2010, before slowing to growth in the high single digit rates through 2012, when it said shipments will hit 472 million. ®

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