The global PC market is to grow in 2012, despite what is expected to be a challenging year, and continue to expand into 2013 and beyond, according an industry monitor.

International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker estimated that some 383 million PCs are expected to be shipped this year, a five per cent improvement on 2011.

The figure is surprising, given the unimpressive growth experienced in 2011 as the PC market competes for growth with alternative devices, such as tablets and smartphones, as well as deals with the ramifications of political uncertainty across the world and a tentative economic future.

Concerns surrounding the relapse into recession in many economies are having a negative impact on public spending and causing low business confidence.

Windows 8's release, however, is expected to supply the PC market with some respite, invigorating consumer spending in the sector. Yet, the ambiguity surrounding the operating system's release date, pricing and functionality could limit the impact Microsoft's new software will have on the market.

IDC expects growth in 2013 to be boosted by the introduction of the new Wintel platform, which should run through to 2016 when shipments are expected to reach 528 million.

"The first quarter PC volume results showed an uptick over our forecast," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

"However, much of the volume was due to a faster-than-expected recovery of hard disk drive (HDD) supply related to flooding in Thailand. PCs continue to face pressure from a weak economic environment and growing competition."

David Daoud, research director of Personal Computing at IDC, added: "Most consumers and businesses in need of PCs already have PCs and see no immediate reason to upgrade or expand. The
[US] market is also evolving amid a heated presidential election campaign, adding more stress to consumer and business confidence."

This is causing many firms in the US to refrain from spending or hiring.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801389339-ADNFCR
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