China has for the first time passed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest PC market, according to the latest quarterly shipments estimates by IDC, a U.S. IT market-research firm. Some 18.5 million units, worth $11.9 billion, shipped in China during the second quarter, compared to 17.7 million units, worth $11.7 billion, in the U.S., the firm says. That makes China account for 22% of the global PC market compared to the U.S.’s 21%. (IDC excludes tablets and other handhelds from its count.)
On a full year basis, IDC says, it still expects the U.S. to remain the largest market in 2011, with 73.5 million units forecast to be shipped versus 72.4 million in China. Next year, though, that order could be reversed, IDC predicts.
While this Bystander sees this tipping point as no more than symbolic of a trend that has been forming for some time (and China is already the world’s largest market for a range of products from steel to cars), it does confirm our thought that a Chinese buyer of HP’s PC business that is now up for sale would make sense, a successor to Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s PC business in 1995.