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IDC expects increase in 2004's PC shipments

The market researcher nudges up its forecast for computer shipments this year, to 172.1 million, a rise from the number of units that shipped last year.

IDC on Wednesday nudged its forecast for worldwide PC unit shipments in 2004 up by a hair. The Framingham, Mass., market research company predicted that PC unit shipments will total 172.1 million in 2004, an 11.4 percent increase over 2003's 154.5 million units. IDC previously predicted shipments of 170 million units in 2004.

The latest forecast follows a similarly optimistic projection from Gartner, which said last month that PC shipments would rise 13.9 percent to 187 million in 2004. The two companies use different methods to measure PC shipments and therefore arrive at different totals, but they both agree that a PC market recovery is under way. IDC also predicted that 2005 will see an 11.2 percent increase to 191.4 million units shipped. Following 2005, growth rates should settle down to about 8 percent yearly through 2008, the company said.