Worldwide PC shipments are projected to grow by 12.8pc in 2008 to reach 302 million units, according to technology industry research firm IDC.
Growth will continue at above 11pc in 2009 followed by high single-digit growth through 2012, boosting annual shipments to over 426 million in 2012.
Overall volume growth, combined with a steady transition to portable PCs which generally cost more than desktops, will help offset falling average prices, IDC prophesied.
The company said total value of PC shipments will grow by 7.4pc in 2008 to reach almost US$280bn. Shipment value will continue to grow by roughly 4pc annually from 2009 through 2012, reaching nearly US$330bn by 2012.
Portable adoption remains the primary driver in all regions, with increases of over 50pc in the Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan) and markets outside the US and western Europe.
The US and western Europe saw growth above 20pc and continue to account for more than 50pc of portable PC sales.
“The deteriorating economic environment can certainly put a damper on PC growth. However, fourth-quarter growth was the fastest since mid-2005 and we should see continued portable adoption and PC acquisition by both commercial and consumer segments,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s worldwide quarterly PC Tracker.
“Replacements in mature regions supported by ongoing rapid growth of new users in emerging regions will add to pervasive technology evolution and falling prices to sustain growth.”
“Lower-cost consumer notebooks continue to drive PC market growth in all regions around the world,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice-president, clients and displays, IDC. “Consumers are increasingly seeing notebooks as essential personal communication and information-gathering tools and we expect that will continue to drive growth and higher PC penetration ratios for several years to come.”
By Niall Byrne