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PC Market Rebounds with Strong Demand for Portables

Fuels Hopes for Holiday Sales, According to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments are projected to rise by 16.7% in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Following a slow second half of 2006, with growth reaching a low of 7.9% in the fourth quarter, growth has accelerated steadily in 2007, reaching 16% in the third quarter. As a result, annual growth is expected to reach 14.6% in 2007, up from 10.1% in 2006.

Portable PC adoption remains a key driver. In the third quarter, Worldwide Portable PC shipment growth of 37% was the fastest in more than a decade, edging growth of more than 35% in several quarters in 2003 and 2005. The rapid move to Portables has taken a toll on Desktops. With the support of emerging regions, global Desktop volumes continue to increase in low single-digits. However, the growth differential between Desktops and Portables has never been larger. In the third quarter, Portable growth was more than 33 percentage points faster than Desktop growth – a differential that has not been over 30% since 1996. The rapid transition has boosted Portable share of Client PCs to nearly 45% in the third quarter, and will likely reach 50% by the end of 2008.

“The peak Portable growth seen in the third quarter will be difficult to sustain, but it reflects strong demand across regions and segments that will fuel growth going forward,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “It will be increasingly important for PC vendors to have a strong Portable offering to stay competitive as the market continues its rapid shift to mobile computing”

International markets have also driven volume. Following years of steady growth, the PC market outside the U.S. and Japan reached 68% of global shipments in the third quarter. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Rest of World (including Latin America, Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) are approaching 50% share and growing by more than 20% in 2007. Western Europe, representing more than 22% of global volume, also continues to grow at a rapid pace.

“The significant influences driving the growth of portable PC volume include: falling prices, the narrowing performance gap as compared with desktops, improving wireless connectivity, and the expanded access through retail channels,” said Richard Shim, personal computing research manager. “The desktop market will aim to maintain share by emphasizing improvements in energy efficiency, shrinking case designs and emerging mainstream opportunities, such as gaming and all in one systems.”

PC Shipments By Region And Form Factor (in Millions), 2006-2011

Region Form Factor 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
USA Desktop & x86 Server 39.4 38.2 34.1 31.8 30.2 28.8
Portables 26.1 31.6 37.7 43.5 49.4 53.4
Total 65.5 69.8 71.8 75.2 79.6 82.2
International Desktop & x86 Server 113.6 121.3 130.2 138.4 145.5 152.1
Portables 56.3 78.7 100.8 121.6 138.4 155.4
Total 169.9 200.0 231.0 260.0 283.9 307.4
Worldwide Desktop & x86 Server 153.0 159.5 164.3 170.2 175.7 180.9
Portables 82.4 110.3 138.6 165.0 187.8 208.7
Total 235.4 269.8 302.8 335.2 363.5 389.6

2007-2011 figures represent Forecast data

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, December 2007

PC Shipment Growth By Region And Form Factor, 2006-2011

Region Form Factor 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
USA Desktop & x86 Server -6.8% -3.0% -10.6% -6.9% -5.0% -4.5%
Portables 20.7% 20.9% 19.4% 15.3% 13.7% 8.0%
Total 2.5% 6.5% 3.0% 4.8% 5.8% 3.2%
International Desktop & x86 Server 6.9% 6.8% 7.3% 6.4% 5.1% 4.5%
Portables 29.1% 39.7% 28.1% 20.5% 13.8% 12.2%
Total 13.3% 17.7% 15.5% 12.6% 9.2% 8.3%
Worldwide Desktop & x86 Server 3.0% 4.3% 3.0% 3.6% 3.2% 3.0%
Portables 26.3% 33.8% 25.6% 19.1% 13.8% 11.1%
Total 10.1% 14.6% 12.2% 10.7% 8.4% 7.2%

2007-2011 figures represent Forecast data

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Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, December 2007

Taxonomy Note: PCs include Desktop, Notebook, Ultra Portable, and x86 Server and do not include handhelds.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in 55 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data.

For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

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