Dinesh C. Sharma
The number of personal computers in use globally will almost double by the end of the decade, but that won't necessarily mean good news for Western PC makers, according to a new study by Forrester Research.
By 2010, mature markets in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific will have added 150 million new PCs, while emerging markets will have added 566 million new computers, the market researcher has predicted. Overall, there will be 1.3 billion PCs, up from 575 million today, Forrester said. The number of PCs in emerging markets will grow at a 31 percent compounded annual growth rate, the company said.
Competition for market share will pit industry leaders such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard against local emerging market manufacturers, Forrester predicts. Price will be the key driver of the pace of adoption, the company said.
According to Forrester, IBM's recent sale of its PC unit to China's Lenovo Group reflects the company's belief that most growth in the PC market will come from emerging markets and will be led by local companies. Forrester also said that the high rate of growth in developing countries will be good news for Linux, because these areas have no legacy of using Windows—so local PC makers will use the open-source operating system to keep prices down.
"Local PC makers like Lenovo Group in China and Aquarius in Russia that can better tailor the PC form factor, price point and applications to their local markets will ultimately win the market share battle," Forrester senior analyst Simon Yates said in a release.
Forrester said China will add 178 million new PC users, while India will get 80 million new PC users by 2010. There will be 40 million new PC users in Indonesia. In Mexico, 46 percent people will own a PC, giving it the deepest PC penetration of all 16 emerging markets that Forrester analyzed.
The markets analyzed in the study include China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Ethiopia, Turkey, Iran and Thailand.