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PC Population Predicted To Surpass 2 Billion By 2015

More than 2 billion PCs are expected to be in use worldwide by 2015, driven in large part by high-profile programs in the high-tech industry to increase PC use in emerging and untapped markets, a market research firm said Monday.

PC use is growing rapidly worldwide, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 12%, Forrester Research said in its report. That trend is expected to continue through 2015. By the end of 2008, more than 1 billion personal computers are expected to be in use globally.

While it has taken 27 years for the industry to reach 1 billion PCs, the next billion will take considerably less time because of advancing technology, lower prices, and global demand on the part of a technology-aware population, Forrester said. Emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China are expected to account for more than 775 million new PCs by 2015.

"The industry can probably survive selling incrementally better hardware and software to the people who already have technology in their lives, but the vast majority of growth in the PC and related industries will come from emerging markets," Forrester researcher Simon Yates said in a statement.

Selling PCs outside of mature markets, however, is sure to carry its own risks. For example, vendors accustomed to average life cycles of four or five years for PCs in mature markets will find that people and business in other parts of the world will keep older machines longer, Forrester said. As a result, manufacturers will have to scale production differently.

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