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World PC sales still growing

But expect growth to slow this year

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Global PC shipments grew 14 per cent in the last quarter of 2004, according to research from market watcher IDC.

The small and medium business market and Christmas sales were credited with driving the expansion. Total shipments grew to 51.5m units in the quarter, an increase of 13.7 per cent, better than IDC predictions of 13 per cent growth. For the whole year, the industry shipped 177.5m machines - 14.7 per cent up on 2003. IDC predicts the market will grow by about ten per cent in 2005 before growth shrinks to single-figure increases from 2006.

Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said: "Business demand and growth in key regions like EMEA continue to drive the market. Although we saw a seasonal rise in consumer shipments, particularly in EMEA and the rest of world [outside the US], business remains a larger market and has been growing faster since mid-2004. Ongoing PC replacements and new investment should continue to drive commercial growth at least through the end of 2005."

Dell shipped just under 8.8m machines in the quarter giving it a 17 per cent share of the market, one per cent ahead of HP. Apple and Gateway both showed strong growth.

Rival analyst house Gartner also saw a growing PC market but credited increased laptop sales for the figures. Gartner said sales grew 11.8 per cent in 2004 compared with 2003. It estimates the industry worldwide shipped 189m machines, up from 169m in 2003. It also has Dell in top vendor spot with a market share of 16.4 per cent - two points ahead of HP.

More details available from IDC here.

More from Gartner here. ®

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