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China takes quarterly lead in PC market, says IDC

New data from IDC says China blew past the U.S. in terms of PC shipments in the most recent quarter. The trend is likely to accelerate next year, the firm says.

PC shipments in China recently topped those in the United States, new research from the International Data Corporation has found.

As part of the final tally of its second-quarter 2011 Worldwide PC Tracker study, the research firm said today that China had shipments of 18.5 million units compared with 17.7 million units in the U.S. That equates to a $200 million difference between the two markets, the firm said.

"China's lead in the PC market is a huge shift that reflects the rising fortunes of emerging markets as well as the relative stagnation of more mature regions," said Loren Loverde, program vice president, of IDC's worldwide PC tracker in a statement. "While the immediate economic circumstances in the U.S. and other markets had a significant impact on the timing of China's move to the lead, they have not changed the trend, but accelerated it."

Worldwide PC market share by country, Q2 2011

Despite China's push, IDC said it expects the U.S. to close out the year with the largest market, due in part to the looming holiday shopping season. That could change next year, however, with the firm forecasting China to grow to 85.2 million units for the year compared to 76.6 million in the U.S.

IDC's quarterly study covers 80 countries, and includes desktops, portables, and "mini notebooks." Not included are servers or handheld devices, including tablets.

In June, the firm predicted growth of 10 percent to 11 percent in both the consumer and business PC markets from 2012 through 2015, due in part to emerging markets along with advances in chip design.