IDC: PC Shipments Will Surge in 2003

By Thor Olavsrud

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Research firm IDC Friday predicted a surge in PC shipments for the latter half of 2003, which would lead to projected growth in worldwide shipments of 8.3 percent for the coming year.

IDC said it expects 2002 shipments to reach about 136.2 million, up 1.6 percent from 2001. But the firm predicts growth will increase in 2003 and reach 11 percent in 2004 before slowing again.

"We continue to expect slow worldwide PC shipment growth for the next several quarters, before the market accelerates in the latter half of 2003," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "While business spending has been slow to recover, we believe it will pick up in the first half of 2003, and market drivers like portable adoption, wireless networking, and TCO improvements will support moderate growth."

While IDC foresees a strengthened business and consumer market, it also warned that government spending is likely to slow as reduced budgets hit home.

"The enthusiasm apparent in U.S. retail over the Thanksgiving holiday is a welcome confirmation of improvement in the home segment," said Roger Kay, director of Client Computing at IDC. "Although consumer shipments continue to be down substantially from their peak, the market has resumed a seasonal pattern and reflects growing demand despite mixed consumer indicators. Although U.S. enterprises remain on the sidelines for the time being, we expect business to lead market growth in the second half of 2003."

However, IDC noted that economic and political factors may constrain future growth, with security concerns and possible war in Iraq depressing both consumer and business spending.