Ultrabooks and ultra-thin PC will drive worldwide PC shipment in 2012. Meanwhile, desktop PCs will see modest upside. This optimism for growth is fuelled by emerging markets. This is because emerging markets contribution to the overall PC shipments will potentially increase in 2012, whereas matured markets share is estimated to see downside. Significantly, China's growth rate is predicted to be slower.
International Data Corp (IDC) points out that total global PC shipments are projected to witness 5 percent upside in 2012 to 371.1 million units from 353.3 million units recorded last year. The growth follows an increase of 1.8 percent in PC shipments for 2011.
Due to short supply of hard disk drive or HDD, the first half of 2012 will offer slender growth in PC shipments; however, the second half is projected to see a significant uptick. This is because of expected easing of the HDD supply constraints, Windows 8 launch, and demand for newer ultrabooks and ultra-thin notebooks. These apart, anticipated improvements in worldwide economic conditions will also aid growth potential.
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Emerging markets contributions to the worldwide PC shipments will likely uptick to 58 percent in 2012 compared to 57 percent in the previous year. On the other hand, matured markets share in the PC shipments will possibly dip to 42 percent from 43 percent in 2011, IDC data suggests.
The overall PC shipments growth in emerging markets could potentially record 7 percent upside, whereas matured markets PC shipments is predicted to be 2.4 percent higher in 2012 than in 2011.
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Desktop PC growth in emerging markets will possibly enjoy 2 percent upside. However, matured markets will see downside potential of 2.3 percent in 2012. It will be a struggle for global desktop PC shipments to post 0.4 percent growth.
On the other hand, portable PC shipments are estimated to see an uptick rate of 11.2 percent in emerging markets, while developed nations are projected to record 4.7 percent upside. This will make worldwide portable PC shipments register a growth of 8.1 percent in 2012, IDC data indicates.
2011 was not a good year for PC shipments in the matured markets. IDC data shows that developed nations recorded 9 percent downside in PC shipments. They were hurt by emerging computing devices and lackluster response from consumers during the Christmas season.
Interestingly, China is expected to record 9 percent PC shipments in 2012. It is the first time the outlook is pegged for single-digit growth in the second largest economy in the world.
Currently, consumers seem to be altering their purchasing plans. This has assumed significance in the wake of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) recent launch of iPad. While attracting attention of consumers, this has also detracted consumers' preference.
PC shipments growth is expected to help companies such as Hewlett Packard (Nasdaq: HPQ), Dell (Nassdaq: DELL), Intel (Nassdaq: INTC) and AMD (Nasdaq: AMD). But easing of HDD will likely to put pricing pressure on Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX).
For the years 2013 to 2016, PC shipments are estimated to grow at a pace of 9.5 percent, 9.6 percent, 8.5 percent and 7.2 percent respectively.
Recently, research firm Gartner predicted that emerging markets will fuel PC shipments growth in 2012. Despite various constrains seen during the first two quarters of 2012, its research director Ranjit Atwal thinks that PC market will catch up and bring consumers the latest experience of innovation and technological advancements. Atwal sees weak PC shipments in 2012. However, he still projects 4.4 percent upside in PC shipments to 368 million units over last year's 352.81 million units.
The latest IDC research forecasts that PC Microprocessor unit shipments will gain momentum in 2012 on easing HDD supply limitations. The research firm also predicted 5.1 percent upside for PC microprocessor unit shipment in 2012.