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Analysts still bullish on PC sales

Laptops and emerging markets are fueling double-digit growth, according to IDC.

The outlook for PC sales in the short term continues to be rosy as yet another analyst firm has revised its estimates for the PC market for the next 18 months. Low prices and the popularity of laptops continue to be the two biggest factors propelling growth as consumers look to replace older computers in their offices and homes. Total PC shipments are now expected to reach 199.2 million in 2005 followed by a predicted 217.0 million shipments PCs in 2006, according to IDC.

The other factor pushing growth is the increase of computer use in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, IDC said. The report noted more than 20 percent annual increases in the number of PCs shipped in each of these hot spots. Sales continue to grow in Asia/Pacific and Western Europe, although the percentage will be in the mid- to low teens. Sales growth in the U.S. trails that of most other regions, but IDC predicts that the U.S. will add nearly 5 million units this year to the total it absorbed in 2004.