Following better-than-anticipated PC sales since the start of the year, research firm IDC has adjusted its PC growth prediction for 2010 to 19.8 percent. The new projected growth rate is almost double as much as the 10.3 percent rate the firm predicted in December 2009.
On the heels of an exceptional fourth quarter in 2009, global PC shipments followed suit with year-on-year growth of 27.1% in the first quarter of 2010. A measured, albeit sometimes bumpy economic recovery, coupled with strong buying across both Commercial and Consumer segments quashed earlier fears of consumer fatigue and led to a renewed projection for strong 2010 growth of 19.8%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
Unlike most of 2009, the recent market recovery has also seen a small rebound in higher priced SKUs as Mininotebook PCs (also known as netbooks) became less of a driver of volume. Although low to mid-range Portable PCs still dominate the market, Desktop PCs also recovered with its first yearly growth since the second quarter of 2008. Commercial Desktops posted positive growth, a first since the downturn, while the popularity of All-in-One PCs was a major factor in driving Consumer Desktop growth. Growth was positive across both mature and emerging markets but emerging regions saw a record high 37% year-over-year growth in the first quarter. The strong surge in volume brought a corresponding slowing of price declines over the past year. A combination of improved commercial activity and a renewed interest in mainstream notebooks led to a moderation of ASP decline rates.
Going forward, IDC expects PC market revenue in 2010 to surpass that of the previous revenue peak set in 2008 as more purchases shift to higher margin SKUs. Mininotebook PC volume growth is expected to moderate, and its share as a percent of the total PC market is expected to stay under 12%. Desktop PC volume should grow over 8% in 2010 thanks in part to favorable comparisons to a dismal 2009 but also due to business replacements and the popularity of All-in-One PCs. The main driver of growth will come from mainstream notebooks. Emerging regions are still expected to anchor much of the growth ahead, growing 26.6% in 2010 on the strength of strong Portable PC sales. Mature markets should see 2010 come in at 13.6%, with desktops rebounding slightly in 2010 over 2009. Portable PCs will remain the driver of growth across consumer and commercial segments, reaching nearly a 70% share of PCs by 2012.
"Beyond continuing with the market recovery, 2010 will be a year filled with new formulations on what constitutes the PC experience," said Jay Chou, research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "New devices such as e-readers and media tablets will pose disruptive challenges to conventional usage models while opening up intriguing possibilities in consumer and mobile business spaces. Aside from brute computing power, the value proposition of the PC will be increasingly measured by the flexibility with which it can meet the demands of content creation and content consumption as well as achieving optimal portability."