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IDC says PC markets to show stronger growth in 2H 2012

PC markets will show stronger growth due to Windows 8 and Ultrabooks

IDC says PC markets to show stronger growth in 2H 2012
Windows 8 and Ultrabooks will drive stronger growth in worldwide PC shipments, says IDC.

IDC is predicting that global PC markets will finally see stronger recovery in the second half of 2012, driven by Windows 8 and Ultrabooks.

The analyst company said while PC shipment growth in 2011 hit 1.8% year-on-year, it predicts growth of 5% for this year, mainly in the second half.

In 2011, the market was depressed by overall economic conditions, and the disruption of emerging computing devices, with mature markets in particular suffering. Emerging markets saw 11.6% growth, while mature markets declined 8.8%.

For 2012, emerging market growth will slow slightly, to 7%, while mature markets are expected to pick up to show 2.3% growth.

"Many consumers are holding off making PC purchases at the moment because tablet devices like Apple's iPad are proving to be a powerful distraction," according to Bob O'Donnell, vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC. "However, end user surveys tell us that few people consider media tablets as replacements for their PCs, so later this year when there is a new Microsoft operating system, available in sleek new PC form factors, we believe consumer interest in PCs will begin to rebound."

Although emerging markets have continued to show good uptake, IDC has slightly reduced its outlook in some regions. The 2012 forecast for China has been lowered to 9%, the first time single-digit growth has been forecast for a year. Part of the adjustment amongst emerging markets comes from the shortage of disk drives, which greatly impacts white box PC manufacturers who play a prevalent role in these markets. Secondly, the prospect of slowing exports will also likely affect PC spending as both consumers and SMBs in developing countries scale back.

"2012 and 2013 will bring significant challenges for Microsoft and the PC community," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, Worldwide PC Tracker. "The Wintel platform must evolve to accommodate user expectations of ubiquitous computing on a multitude of devices and physical settings. Windows 8 and ultrabooks are a definitive step in the right direction to recapturing the relevance of the PC, but its promise of meshing a tablet experience in a PC body will likely entail a period of trial and error, thus the market will likely see modest growth in the near term."

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