IDC Worldwide Portables by Screen Size Forecast and Analysis Finds The Future Is Bright – And Wide

FRAMINGHAM, MA – OCTOBER 24, 2005 – IDC today announced the first results from its ongoing effort to forecast the relationship between the liquid crystal display and portable PC markets. The most glaring trend now in the notebook market is the increasing popularity of widescreen displays. This trend is occurring so rapidly that IDC expects shipments of portable PCs with widescreen displays to exceed those with standard aspect ratios in 2006.

The display on a notebook is, in many ways, the most influential part of the system. Screen sizes often define how the notebook is classified, which affects the other features of the PC. In the past, PC market leaders have used different sizes, levels of brightness, and viewing angles of screens to differentiate their notebooks.

"We found a significant shift occurring in the LCD panel part of portable PCs from standard size to widescreen. This transition has implications for suppliers, manufacturers, and consumers. Behavior from all three groups indicates that widescreens on portable PCs will be become a more common feature not just on consumer mobile units but also units aimed at the corporate market," said Richard Shim, senior research analyst with IDC's Personal Computing team.

A number of factors are driving this growth – from consumers' increasing familiarity with widescreen aspect ratios from DVDs, to PC manufacturers promoting widescreen as a differentiator in an increasingly competitive market, and next-generation operating systems demanding greater detail from notebook screens.

This IDC study, Worldwide Portables by Screen Size 2004-2009 Forecast and Analysis: The Future is Bright and Wide, (IDC #34230), looks at the worldwide and U.S. market for portable PCs by screen size and forecasts it out to 2009. Eighteen screen-size categories are tracked and their growth rates and shipment numbers are estimated. The aspect ratio – the ratio of width to height – of the screen sizes and their resolutions are also tracked and forecasted on an annual basis from 2004 through 2009. This document is the result of the initial research on notebooks by screen size, and is the first in what will become continuing coverage of this market.

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