Survey: Global PC Market Ramping Up For Growth In 2003

By Agence France-Presse The global personal computer market is expected to break out of its slump in 2003 with growth of better than 8%, according to a widely followed market research report released Dec. 6. International Data Corp. (IDC), Framingham, Mass., says worldwide PC shipments were likely to show growth of just 1.6% for 2002 before accelerating to an 8.3% pace in 2003 and 11% in 2004. "We continue to expect slow worldwide PC shipment growth for the next several quarters, before the market accelerates in the latter half of 2003," says Loren Loverde, director of PC market research at IDC. "While business spending has been slow to recover, we believe it will pick up in the first half of 2003," helped by new technologies such as wireless networking and broadband. "The enthusiasm apparent in U.S. retail over the Thanksgiving holiday is a welcome confirmation of improvement in the home segment," says Roger Kay, an IDC analyst. "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." In the U.S. market, sales have been boosted by government security spending and some home PC sales, but IDC says it remains cautious that security concerns and war in Iraq may depress business and consumer spending. In Western Europe, consumer and business spending both beat expectations by recording positive growth in the third quarter, but total shipments are expected to be down 0.5% in 2002 and up less than 6% in 2003, IDC says. In Japan, IDC says the market "has suffered from poor corporate earnings and declining economic confidence," and that PC buyers are "selective and price conscious." Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, government spending in China was largely responsible for better-than-expected performance but "recovery is underway in most countries in the region." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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