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Global PC sales to grow 20% in Q4

Driven by Asia Pacific region

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Europe and the US might be suffering, but the global PC market is looking very healthy indeed. New research from IDC suggests that worldwide shipments will reach 40.15 million units in Q4 - growth of nearly 20 per cent on last year.

Although demand for PCs is slowing stateside and Q4 consumer spending is not expected to be as strong as in Q3, researchers said that the introduction of Windows 2000 had sparked the beginning of a recovery in the commercial market. PCs bought in 1997 and 1998 for Y2K compliance reaching the end of their life cycle would fuel this gradual pickup.

In Western Europe the commercial sector was responsible for the industry's woes. Business investment was slower than expected in the second half of this year. Predictions for Q4 were duly trimmed from 19 per cent growth to just over 15 per cent. The numbers were similar to those for the US where the shipments are expected to gain 15.8 per cent.

Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker program, commented: "PCs remain the dominant means of accessing the Internet, and a lot of people out there are still buying PCs to get online."

The global market is primarily driven from the Asia-Pacific region, the researchers said. Year on year growth in the region (excluding Japan) stood at 42.7 per cent - a high figure in itself, but beating analysts' predictions by 6.5 per cent. Forecasts for Q4 have been revised to 33.4 per cent year on year growth.

Dell tops the vendor tables with nearly 20 per cent market share but Compaq was close behind with 17 per cent. The rest of the top five goes HP, Gateway and IBM. Between them these five account for more than 60 per cent of the market. ®

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