IDC Lowers PC Growth Forecast for 2005

Market research house IDC lowered its PC growth forecast this week for 2005 from the low double digits to the high single digits.

In November, IDC predicted worldwide PC unit growth for 2005 would amount to 10.1 percent. Now, IDC is saying the number will be more like 9.7 percent. IDC's expectation for total worldwide PC shipments this year is 195.4 million units worth $209 billion.

The downward revision comes despite strong unit growth throughout 2004 of 15.0 percent and the firm's expectation of solid future growth stretching out to 2009, a year when IDC's shipment forecasts call for 273 million units valued at $245 billion.

A major component of IDC's forecast is U.S. commercial sales. In that sector, IT buyers surveyed by IDC indicate firm intentions to buy PCs this year. IDC analyst Roger Kay sees plenty of external problems that give him reason to doubt some of those purchases will happen.

"[Risk] factors include a recovery that appears to be getting long in the tooth, a lack of jobs growth, rising budget and trade deficits, persistently high oil prices, a treasury-draining foreign war, rising interest rates, a stock market that continues to move sideways, and record-low household savings rates," Kay said in a statement.

After U.S. PC unit growth of 10.8 percent in 2003 and 10.6 percent in 2004, IDC expects to see U.S. shipment growth slow to 7.6 percent this year and 7.4 percent in 2006. In all, the U.S. market is expected to account for 62.7 million units in 2005 and 67.7 million units in 2006. The commercial segment of the U.S. market is expected to snap up 39.3 million new PCs this year and 42.2 million PCs next year.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.