Global PC market to shrink in 2009

PC sales will fall by 5.3% in value in 2009 as the financial slump spreads through the global economy, IDC has predicted.

Computer shipments will grow 3.8%, a sharp fall from IDC's second quarter projection of 13.7% growth in units and 4.5% in value.

However, Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) remains the fastest-growing region, with shipments expected to grow by 7% in 2009 and by 18%-20% in subsequent years, IDC said.

IDC also cut its outlook both for full-year 2008 and 2010 by two percentage points to 12.4% and 10.9% respectively, with growth above 12% for 2011 and 2012.

Fast-growing emerging markets in Latin America, Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa will take the biggest hit in 2009, IDC said.

'Falling commodity prices, a rising dollar, and restricted credit have had a dramatic affect on consumer and distribution channel financing,' IDC said.

Volume in Latin America and Central/Eastern Europe is expected to fall through to the third quarter. Shipments in the Middle East and Africa will grow but at a slower pace than in recent years.

US shipments are expected to decline by almost 3% in 2009, with low single-digit increases in subsequent years. Japan and Canada will see low single-digit growth for a couple years as well.

'Western Europe has been slower to feel the credit crunch, and low cost notebooks remain a huge driver, so growth is expected to continue at 6%, although this is well below growth of more than 20% in 2008,' IDC said.

'Portable PC adoption, falling prices, and system replacements remain the key drivers,' said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

'Consumer and commercial segments will be much more conservative in their purchases over the coming year or two, and while low prices will remain essential, they will not drive volumes as they did the past few years.'