Analysts claim region’s PC sales growth will continue

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By  Published  September 22, 2006

Declining PC prices will help drive shipment growth in emerging markets such as the Middle East, analyst firms said this month.

According to the latest figures from both IDC and Gartner worldwide PC shipments should maintain double-digit growth this year, with the outlook strong for future growth in emerging markets.

Gartner is expecting worldwide PC shipments to reach over 233 million units this year, which would be a 10.5% increase on 2005.

However, it warned that part of that sales growth would be achieved at the expense of revenue, with both AMD and Intel aggressively cutting prices for the rest of the year.

“Unit growth will continue to be price driven for the next several quarters as PC replacement activity wanes and the battle between Intel and AMD escalates,” said George Shiffler, research director for Gartner Dataquest’s Client Platforms research programme.

While the firm said these price cuts would help growth in more mature markets such as the US and Western Europe, their impact would be limited because of saturation issues. “Vista’s eventual release next year could stimulate some added growth, but we remain skeptical of Vista’s impact,” Shiffler said.

However, Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest’s Client Platforms research programme, claimed that steeper price declines would also drive faster growth in emerging markets.

“Growth should be more sustainable in these markets due to low penetration, expanding economies, and a growing number of PC ownership initiatives,” Kitagawa said.

As a result, emerging markets are expected to post solid double-digit growth during the next two years, he said.

IDC also said it expected to see stronger growth in the emerging markets, helping overall sales to maintain double-digit growth.

“Mature regions, like the US, Western Europe, and Japan, are exhibiting more conservative growth trends, while developing regions are not only growing faster, but exceeding expectations,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

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