RealTime IT News

IDC: Commercial PC Demand Grows

An increase in commercial PC demand growth has caused market research firm IDC to revise its forecast for 2004 PC shipments, the firm announced today.

IDC Research said that it was raising its expectation for 2004 PC shipments to reflect a total growth rate of 14.2 percent on shipments of 176.5 million units. The revised projection is up from its June estimate for a total 2004 shipment growth of 13.5 percent.

The revised forecast comes on the heels of the impressive second quarter commercial PC shipment growth that marked the fourth consecutive quarter of over 13 percent growth. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, second-quarter commercial PC shipments tracked at 17.2 percent, the highest rate since mid-1999.

But IDC officials caution against breaking out the celebratory balloons right away.

"The market needs to be careful in interpreting these results," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, in a statement. "Strong growth in Western Europe and Rest of World played a significant role in boosting second quarter results, while growth in the United States missed forecasts and slipped into single digits. Similarly, it's important to note that we've lowered growth expectations for the consumer and portable markets even though projections for overall growth have increased slightly in the short term."

In fact, according to the IDC survey, U.S. consumer growth for commercial PC demand is expected to fall in 2004 to 7.8 percent down from 17.3 percent in 2003. In 2005 U.S. consumer growth is expected to fall further to 5.7 percent. IDC also lowered its total growth expectations for 2005 to 10.5 percent, which is a reduction of 0.2 percent and said that it expected," and projections for growth in future years remain in single digits."

The growth rate for commercial PC demand is still somewhat better than it has been over the previous two years. The 2003 IDC survey only noted an 11.9 percent total growth while 2002 was even worse coming in at only 1.9 percent.

"High growth in recent quarters is partially the result of a depressed market in prior years," IDC stated. "As the market recovery matures, year-on-year comparisons will become more difficult, and growth is expected to subside."