IDC Raises PC Market Growth Forecast Based on Strength In Consumer Segment

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MARCH 13, 2002 – IDC has raised its forecast for worldwide PC shipment growth in 2002 from the December forecast of 1.8% to a revised figure of 3.0% in response to signs of growth in key segments. Retail sales in the United States and growing demand in Western Europe were key factors in revising the numbers.


With the exception of Asia-Pacific, all regions grew slightly faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2001, and the United States recovered more quickly than other regions. "Economic indicators in the United States have finally begun to point consistently to a recovery," said Roger Kay, director of client computing at IDC. "Given that productivity and confidence measures correlate closely with PC shipments, we can expect improving performance in the PC market through the year. Thus, we have raised our outlook from slightly negative to slightly positive in terms of expected year-on-year growth in 2002. Consumer buying should follow a normal seasonal pattern, and purchasing activity by commercial entities is expected to rise slowly but steadily."

Several trends in Q4 indicate that markets around the world are recovering from a sluggish 2001. In Europe, commercial desktop and consumer portables picked up in Q4 and we expect that to continue in 2002. China, which now accounts for 42% of shipments in Asia Pacific excluding Japan, will continue to drive growth in the region. Although China slowed considerably in 2001, the market grew at 7.8% in the fourth quarter and is expected to continue to drive growth in the region in 2002. Japan's economy continues to hold down sales, but IDC does not see further erosion in Japan.

"With growing signs of economic recovery supporting the market, both consumers and commercial buyers are feeling more confident making significant IT purchases," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "By yearend we expect consumers will be even more optimistic and that their PC spending will reflect that. Commercial spending should also improve, as replacement buying picks up." IDC expects worldwide PC shipments to continue to decline year on year in the first quarter of 2002, although the second quarter should be roughly on par with a year ago, and in Q3 and Q4 the market is expected to grow by almost 10%. Regional Outlook:

United States — Consumer demand should recover throughout 2002 along with most commercial segments. By contrast, the education segment is likely to suffer from reduced budgets and shipments are projected to decline by 10%.

Western Europe — Although some segments grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter, the European market is expected to recover slower than the U.S. due to reserved commercial spending and because the slowdown in 2001 was less dramatic.

Japan — While consumer demand recovered somewhat in the fourth quarter, overall shipments in Japan will decline in double digits in the first half of 2002 and commercial market shipments will barely show positive growth even by the fourth quarter.

Asia-Pacific — Continued government spending will be key to PC market growth in the first half of 2002, although consumer growth should recover to solid double digits in the second half of the year.

U.S. and Worldwide Unit PC Shipments and Growth, 1998-2003

(Units Shipments are in millions)

1998 1999 2000

U.S. Units Home 12.1 17.2 18.8

Commercial 23.3 26.6 28.1

Total 35.4 43.8 46.9

U.S. Growth Home 42.7% 9.1%

Commercial 13.9% 5.5%

Total 23.7% 6.9%

Non-U.S. Units Home 14.6 21.7 30.4

Commercial 39.5 45.3 51.3

Total 54.1 67.0 81.7

Non-U.S. Growth Home 49.3% 39.8%

Commercial 14.7% 13.2%

Total 24.0% 21.8%

Worldwide Units Home 26.6 39.0 49.2

Commercial 62.8 71.9 19.9

Total 89.5 110.9 128.5

Worldwide Growth Home 46.3% 26.2%

Commercial 14.4% 10.4%

Total 23.9% 15.9%

2001 2002 2003

U.S. Units Home 15.0 16.4 17.5

Commercial 26.1 25.8 28.6

Total 41.1 42.2 46.1

U.S. Growth Home -20.1% -20.1% 6.5%

Commerical -7.0% -1.4% 11.0%