IDC Sees Solid PC Market in Second Half of 2002 and Projects Growth of More Than 8% in 2003

FRAMINGHAM, MA – DECEMBER 6, 2002 – Strong public sector spending and continued improvement in the consumer market support IDC's forecast for just over 1% growth in worldwide PC shipments in 2002 and more than 8% growth in 2003. Total shipments in 2002 are expected to reach 136.2 million, up 1.6% from the prior year, although total shipments will still be 2.6% below the market's peak in 2000. In 2003 and beyond, IDC continues to expect improvement in the business and consumer sectors, while government spending will slow to reflect reduced budgets. Risks from economic and political factors may also constrain future growth, although IDC projects shipment growth of 8.3% in 2003 and 11% in 2004 before shipments slow again.


"We continue to expect slow worldwide PC shipment growth for the next several quarters, before the market accelerates in the latter half of 2003," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "While business spending has been slow to recover, we believe it will pick up in the first half of 2003, and market drivers like portable adoption, wireless networking, broadband adoption, new designs, media convergence, and TCO improvements will support moderate growth."

"The enthusiasm apparent in U.S. retail over the Thanksgiving holiday is a welcome confirmation of improvement in the home segment," said Roger Kay, director of Client Computing at IDC. "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."

Regional Outlook:

United States — Although third quarter results were boosted by government security spending and early Thanksgiving indications suggest improved consumer spending, we remain cautious that security concerns and war in Iraq may depress business and consumer spending. Government spending is also likely to decline as state and local governments face shrinking budgets in an off-election year.

Western Europe — Despite continued declines in public sector spending, consumer and business spending both beat expectations by recording positive growth in the third quarter. Even with the improvements, total shipments are expected to be down 0.5% in 2002 and up less than 6% in 2003 as PC users in Europe have resisted upgrading older systems.

Japan — The Japanese market has suffered from poor corporate earnings and declining economic confidence. Economic improvement will be a key factor going forward while the market remains selective and price conscious.

Asia Pacific — Government spending in China was largely responsible for better-than-expected performance in Asia Pacific, although recovery is underway in most countries in the region. Nevertheless, uncertainty over global economic strength, local terrorist bombings, and the potential fallout from a war in Iraq have established a more cautious investment climate.


U.S. and Worldwide PC Shipments and Growth, 2000-2004







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Worldwide Units (M)