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Insatiable China to gobble up 84 MILLION PCs in 2012

Ultrabooks, Windows 8 and Ivy Bridge to fuel 13 per cent growth

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China has cemented its position not only as the global leader in PC production but also an avid consumer, with sales set to surge 13 per cent in 2012 - more than twice the worldwide average.

The latest stats from market watcher IHS iSuppli predict shipments of 83.6 million units this year, up from 73.9 million units in 2011 and 67m in 2010, driven by Windows 8, Ultrabooks and Ivy Bridge.

These figures are all the more impressive when compared to Gartner’s recent predictions that worldwide PC shipments would grow by just 4.4 per cent during 2012.

China currently accounts for 22 per cent of the PC market and produces a whopping 90 per cent of the world’s supply of kit, according to iSuppli.

The country’s desktop PC will not be impacted by Thailand's flooding, which put a severe dent in the hard disk drive supply chain last year but which iSuppli says offers vendors great opportunities to flog gear to medical, traffic, energy and utilities firms looking to replace or purchase new systems in 2012.

However, it is the launch of Windows 8 and Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors which iSuppli said will really spur growth in the second half of the year, with the new operating system in particular giving rise to even more affordable PCs.

Ultrabooks will drive the notebook category in China, as they are threatening to do all over the world, accounting for 15-20 per cent of shipments in the People’s Republic in 2012.

However, pricing and performance have held them back so far, so it will be with the launch of Ivy Bridge that this Intel-led category begins to take off. For that to happen, prices must come down to the notebook average in China of 4-6000 yuan (£395-£595), the analyst argued.

There's no guarantee that this will happen in 2012, however, with some reports suggesting budget Ultrabooks won't be around until 2013, so iSuppli could be jumping the gun a bit on this prediction.

In the domestic PC market, Lenovo remains top with an overall share of around a third, while Acer has fought back after some well publicised losses to take second spot in the notebook market with a 9.5 per cent share, thanks to growth in Ultrabooks and all-in-one PCs.

HP, which has just five per cent of the Chinese PC market, is pinning its hopes on a range of new Windows 8 tablets in the second half of the year, iSuppli said. ®

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