China Takes Top Spot in PC Market for First Time

No other country shipped more PCs last year than China, which propelled it ahead of the United States to take pole position for the first time ever on an annual basis, according to data provided IHS iSuppli. China shipped 69 million computers, edging out the U.S. by 3 million units. Interestingly, IHS iSuppli says China's market was equally split between desktop and notebook shipments, one of several "distinct characteristics" that set the region apart in the computer space.

"The equal share of shipments for desktops and notebooks in China is unusual, since consumers in most regions today tend to prefer more agile mobile PCs, rather than the bulky, stationary desktops," said Peter Lin, senior analyst for compute platforms at IHS. "The relatively large percentage of desktop PC shipments in China is due to huge demand in the country’s rural areas, which account for a major segment of the country’s 1.34 billion citizens. These consumers tend to prefer the desktop form factor."

HP Notebook

It was also evenly split between consumer and commercial purchases, whereas the rest of the world saw 65 percent of PCs go to consumers and 35 percent to commercial customers. And yet another pattern unique to China is 70 percent of notebook buyers were drawn to 14-inch laptops. In the rest of world, 14-inch and smaller laptops accounted for 30 percent of total notebook shipments.

Going forward, IHS iSuppli says China is on pace to stay in the lead for the foreseeable future.