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PC sales to grow 38.5% by 2014

Posted: 31 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC sales? market growth? tablet PCs?

Fueled by rapid sales in developing countries and by growing consumer demand for tablet PCs, personal computer sales are projected to grow by more than 38.5 percent. Shipments are expected to reach 557 million units by 2014 from the 402 million unit sales this year and by 57 percent from 355 million systems in 2010, according to an update of IC Insights' 2011 Integrated Circuit Market Drivers report.

According to the report, tablet PC sales are expected to register the highest annual growth rate among portable computers for the period 2011-2014, with a 171 percent projected growth to reach 133 million units by 2014 from only 49 million units this year.

The report also projected this year's sales of tablet PCsincluding Apple's iPad seriesto jump by more than 188 percent to 49 million units, up from nearly 17 million last year.

In 2014, the report forecasts the projected tablet sales will represent 23.8 percent of the total forecasted 557 million PC sales for that year or 33 percent of the 401 million portable computers to be sold in the same year.

IC Insights attributed the tablet PCs phenomenal projected growth rate to consumers' shifting preferences for mobile PCs and their growing "love affair" with the new tablet-style touch-screen feature.

Unlike other market research firms, IC Insights continues to see tablet PCs as being part of the broader PC market because these systems are designed to handle many of the most popular personal-computing applications, such as Internet browsing, e-mail, video downloading, access to online publications, computer games, digital photos and social networking.

While most of today's touch-screen tablets are best-suited for accessing and viewing digital content, their use in content creation is likewise increasing and IC Insights predicted that new hardware designs and software enhancements will soon bring tablet and notebook capabilities much closer together.

The report said the surge in tablet PC sales and a 14 percent increase in the sales of standard notebook computers to reach 182 million units this year are expected to boost total portable PC shipments by 23 percent to 250 million systems worldwide by end-2011, following a 30 percent growth in 2010.

This means that portable computers are forecast to account for 72 percent of worldwide PCs sold in 2014 or 62 percent of worldwide PC shipments in 2011, compared to 58 percent of total shipments in 2010 and just 31 percent in 2005.

Overall, IC Insights has raised its forecast for tablet PC shipments in the next four years while lowering the projected sales for inexpensive netbook computers, which are now in a tailspin after briefly being the "hottest new thing" in the PC market in 2008 and 2009.

According to the company, dedicated electronic-book readers, such as's Kindle e-book platforms, are not classified as PCs and are tracked separately as consumer-media systems.

PC outlook graph

IC Insights' PC outlook shows tablet computer units climbing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 152 percent during the 2009-2014 period and reaching 132 million systems in the next four years. Meanwhile, netbook shipments are expected to register a 17 percent CAGR drop to just 10 million systems in 2014 from 26 million units in 2009. Standard notebook PCs are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 15 percent per year to 260 million in the five-year period, while desktop computers are forecast to post a two percent CAGR, with unit sales reaching 155 million in 2014.

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