March 20, 2007 12:06 PM PDT

Report: Notebooks to take lead over desktops by 2011

As worldwide desktop shipments continue to slow, notebooks are expected to represent more than half of all client PCs by 2011, according to an IDC report released Tuesday.

PC shipments worldwide rose only 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 15 percent growth rate for the same period last year. IDC attributes the declining growth to corporate buyers purchasing fewer desktops, especially in the more mature markets.

Desktop shipments grew an anemic 2 percent to 138.3 million in 2006, while portables--a category that doesn't include handhelds--jumped 26.3 percent to 82.4 million, according to the report.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. retail sales of notebooks surpassed desktops in 2005.

"In the United States, portable PC shipments will maintain double-digit growth through 2010, but this shift to mobility will not be enough to offset reduced demand for desktops," Doug Bell, IDC personal computing program analyst, said in a statement.

IDC, however, notes that the release of Microsoft's Windows Vista will likely lead to a temporary boost in desktop shipments later this year and into early next year, but the declining growth rate is expected to reemerge shortly afterward.

"While more replacements and Vista adoption may provide a brief respite for desktops in 2008, essentially all desktop growth will occur in emerging regions," Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said in a statement.

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5 comments

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Laptop components?
I'll be happier when I can build my own laptop, not need it prebuilt. I like to change my desktop, even build it myself. I can't do that with a laptop, so why bother, except for the portability issue.
Posted by ben::zen (127 comments )
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You're right
As long as laptops are near impossible to upgrade or build ourselves, there will always be some demand for desktop boxes. Sure, the big desktop manufacturers, like Dell, may not be happy with a small pool of potential desktop buyers, but we don't care about Dell anyway. lol.
Posted by TBolt (70 comments )
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AMEN, BROTHER!
I second that. The second I can build my own, I am SO getting one. www.ethana4.blogspot.com
And that's how I want to build it.
Posted by ethana2 (348 comments )
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One reason why this won't happen.
There's one scenario where notebook sales won't eclipse desktop sales...

If the cost of UMPCs comes down, and the functionality increases a bit, we could have a situation where it is cost effective for people and organizations to maintain a desktop in the office/home and have a UMPC for mobility.

The reason I say this is that the truth of the matter is most laptops are still too big, heavy, and are overkill for travellers and people on-the-go.
Posted by thriftyT (52 comments )
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For me
I only use my laptop on my living room coffee table. Why have a laptop then? It's one unit. The mouse, keyboard, monitor, and CPU are all one unit, meaning if I have wireless (Which I do), I have the option of taking it anywhere in my home. I also don't have to have multiple cables coming out of it - just the power cable.

For me it's the preferred option. I would get a desktop as a second computer, perhaps a server...but never my primary.
Posted by ReVeLaTeD (755 comments )
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