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China overtakes the US to become the largest PC market

A sign of the times
Wed Aug 24 2011, 17:52

ANALYST OUTFIT IDC claims that China has overtaken the US to become the largest PC market in the world.

IDC's PC market share report shows that China, which was a close second to the US in previous quarters, has finally pulled ahead in the second quarter of 2011. IDC forecasts that full calendar year results will show the US still has a slender 0.3 per cent lead over China, but it estimates that ultimately China will be out in front by over two per cent in 2012.

IDC claims that the US holiday buying season will mean that it will retain the top spot for this year. Kitty Fok, VP for greater China research at IDC said, "There are of course still risks ahead for China, including not just inflation but also the impact of economic conditions in the U.S. and Europe ... But in the meantime, the Chinese government's 12th Five-Year Plan should help large enterprises in various infrastructure verticals to continue to move along, not to mention of course the ongoing efforts to increase consumer penetration in lower-tier cities."

The growing demand for PCs in China opens up the possibility that a Chinese company will look to buy HP's PC business. Last week HP made the shocking announcement that it will consider selling off its PC business, even though it has held the number one spot for a number of years.

When IBM decided to shed its iconic range of PCs and laptops, it was the Chinese PC maker Lenovo that stepped up. In recent quarters Lenovo has done a sterling job of building up worldwide market share and has kept quality, especially in its Thinkpads, very high. If IDC's figures show that China is going to become the single most important sales market for PCs, there is a chance that Lenovo might look to build on its position.

Regardless of which company makes a bid to pick up HP's PC business, the news that China will overtake the US in PC market demand is a graphic illustration of just how big its economic power has become. µ


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