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E-BUSINESS : Computer sales are still soaring.

Global sales of personal computers in the second quarter jumped a better-than-expected 16.6 per cent, paced by strong demand for low-cost systems, notebook computers and commercial PC replacements, market research firm IDC said.

IDC rival Gartner said growth in the quarter also topped its expectations, as unit shipments increased 14.8 per cent. The two figures differ because Gartner and IDC use different methodologies in measuring PC shipments. The Europe, Middle East and Africa regions were a source of very strong growth in the quarter, rising more than 20 per cent, and other regions also turned in a respectable performance, IDC said.

'The growth is beyond what we expected last quarter and it's mostly coming from international markets as opposed to the US,' said IDC analyst David Daoud.

Among individual PC companies, Apple Computer's unit shipments in the second quarter rose at twice the rate of the overall market and gained market share in the United States.

Despite concerns of rising interest rates, oil prices and efforts to manage the Chinese economy, business investment and rising consumer interest in cheaper PCs are driving market growth in the Asia Pacific region, IDC said.

Year over year growth in the United States bounced back from a first quarter that was hampered by slow public sector spending and a difficult comparison to a year ago, IDC said. Consumer demand and the public sector also improved.

Overall, worldwide shipments of PCs rose to 46.6 million, up 16.6 per cent from 39.9 million PCs in the year-ago second quarter, IDC said.

Consumer demand in Japan continues its recovery, IDC said, with growth down to lower prices
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 26, 2005
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