IDC expects solid growth for PC industry in 2006

Framingham (MA) - Notebooks will continue to drive the growth of the PC market, analysts of market research company IDC believe. Despite fewer PC replacements and slower economic growth, the impact of portable devices may be big enough to lift the market into double-digit growth.

Things have been going well for PC manufacturers in 2004 and 2005 and thanks to new technologies such as dual-core processors and lower power consumption, and the increasingly popular notebook market, there is no change in sight at least for 2006. According to IDC, the PC market has been growing 17% in Q3 of this year, will add 15% in Q4 and an overall 10.5% in 2006.

"Following the shocks of 2001 and 2002 many people were impressed with the strength of the market in 2004 but cautious about the foundation and longevity of this growth," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "The fact that solid double-digit growth has continued through 2005 shows that the market recovery did not peak in 2004 as many expected but is still ongoing. The market may slow in 2006, but persistent growth over the past several years shows the appeal of low-cost and portable systems and the potential for both a longer recovery and a higher rate of long-term growth."

2006 will be the fourth consecutive year of double-digit shipment growth, according to IDC, and raises the four-year average annual growth rate for 2005 to 2009 to 9.4%. The research firm expects total shipments to reach nearly 300 million units in 2009. Shipment value is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2006 with an average growth rate of 3.6% from 2005 to 2009. The total shipment value will top $250 billion in 2009, IDC said.