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IDC: Netbook shipments up, expect constrained IT budgets

Economic turmoil drives lowered consumer and professional spending on PCs, but makes cheaper Netbooks more attractive.

Worldwide PC shipments were up 15.8 percent in the third quarter, slightly lower than expected.

Acer netbooks PCs
Netbooks like Acer's AspireOne are one bright spot in an industry that looks to have tough times ahead. Acer

Just over 80 million PCs were shipped around the globe during the third quarter, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report released Wednesday. The popularity of Netbooks helped to disguise an industry that looks to have continued tough times ahead. Budgets for buying PCs were constrained as the quarter progressed, and IDC says there's more where that came from.

"IDC expects the ongoing economic woes in the U.S. to further impact consumer and commercial PC spending during the holiday season," said Doug Bell, IDC PC analyst.

One of the bright spots, however, was Acer, which grew five times faster than the rest of the market in the third quarter and shipped 10 million PCs. It found success pushing Netbooks in the U.S., but especially in the EMEA, or Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions.

If the current economic roller coaster continues, perhaps even more buyers could start looking to Netbooks because of their lower price tag. For more see our Tuesday report on Gartner's similar findings.