Report: China could surpass U.S. as top PC market

Report: China could surpass U.S. as top PC market

Summary: China could already be the largest personal computer market in the world, surpassing the United States, based on research from the IDC.

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TOPICS: China, Hardware
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For the first time in history, China has likely surpassed the United States as the top market for personal computers in the world.

The keyword in there is "likely," as this information is based on research that won't be completed until the year is out.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Bryan Ma, an analyst at the global research firm IDC, said based on a full-year basis, China will likely pass the U.S. in 2012.

Given that China is the most populated country on Earth, some analysts saw this coming. Toshihiro Nagahama, chief economist at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, explained to Bloomberg that "this was going to happen sooner or later, just like with the car market, and the time has come."

Specifically, Ma pointed towards 14 percent rise in PC shipments in China during the second quarter, totaling 18.5 million units, which in itself is the first time that figure was higher than than the shipment count in the United States. For reference, U.S. shipments fell to 17.7 million units.

Although there is definitely potential for China to become the largest PC market in the world, these figures are far from conclusive just yet.

There is the possibility that these numbers could be overly optimistic, and there are other factors to account for still. For instance, U.S. shipments could see an increase (even if it's slight) during the third quarter thanks to back-to-school shopping, and how could we ever forget about the holiday season in the fourth quarter.

On the contrary, it's not much of a surprise to see U.S. numbers slip up here as consumer technology continues to bleed companies dry. After all, Hewlett-Packard's sudden shift in focus away from its webOS collection and possibly its PC unit altogether could be foreshadowing a major change in the U.S. PC market altogether.

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Topics: China, Hardware

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9 comments
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  • But I thought the PC was dying???!!!

    Blog after blog here at ZDNet has proclaimed the death of
    the PC, yet here's one with estimates of over 36 million
    units in only 2 markets (US and China) in the second quarter!
    Yep, sure looks like a dead market to me....NOT!
    wizard57m-cnet
    • Golly this is hard

      Maybe we need to have a special class for people who don't understand that when you're running something that employs over 100,000 people, you need to look farther ahead than next month... or even next year.
      Robert Hahn
    • Dying as in sales going to zero?

      @wizard57m@...

      No. But most US companies have all the PC's they need and are in replacement mode. US consumers are the same. China is expanding but that isn't going to be anywhere near as profitable as saturating the US market was. And that's what big companies (and stockholders) look at, the bottom line: Is there room for profits to grow? Diminishing returns for even greater effort.
      oncall
  • RE: Report: China could surpass U.S. as top PC market

    this is very much expected with US companies signing off PC business, especially Dell/HP. Apple banks totally on China for their products and other major player is Lenovo, which is already in China.

    Also, most of the electronic parts are made in China, so that way, they already had/have surpassed US. I hate to say, but US economy is hit hard or there are some dumb moves by the leaders in technology sector.
    animageofmine1
    • This Bud's for you

      You don't suppose China having three times as many people as we do has anything to do with them becoming a larger <i>market</i>? As the head of Budweiser once said about his own expansion into China, "A billion people can drink a lot of beer."
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: Report: China could surpass U.S. as top PC market

        @Robert Hahn Yeah, I did consider that too, but that is already mentioned in the article. But, one thing to note is that, even India has a huge population, but it does not seem to be even closer in the list of top 5.
        animageofmine1
  • RE: Report: China could surpass U.S. as top PC market

    I just paid $22.85 for an iPad 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.78 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $625 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, GrabCent.com
    revogfx
  • Not PC market. Market.

    NT
    x I'm tc
  • RE: Report: China could surpass U.S. as top PC market

    PC's are at the end of their development curve, and tablets (including smartphones) are at their beginning. It's taken more than 40 years for us to get to a point that was visualized in 1968; the tablet was a prominent device in "2001: A Space Odyssey".
    terry flores