China surpassed the US as the world's biggest consumer of PCs in the second quarter of this year, according to new market research.
Shipments in China hit 18.5 million units worth about $11.9 billion in the April-through-June quarter, which edged out US shipments of 17.7 million units worth about $11.7 billion, according to International Data Corp's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker study.
China accounted for 22 per cent of the world's PC market in terms of shipments, while the US took up a 21 per cent share, the IDC report said. In the US, PC sales fell 11 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, marking the nation's largest drop in nearly a decade.
The US is still expected to be the world's largest market for the full year, but it may lose that distinction next year. IDC forecasts that 85.2 million PCs will be shipped in China compared with 76.6 million in the US in 2012.
"China's lead in the PC market is a huge shift that reflects the rising fortunes of emerging markets as well as the relative stagnation of more mature regions," said Loren Loverde, an IDC vice-president.
"While the immediate economic circumstances in the US and other markets had a significant impact on the timing of China's move to the lead, they have not changed the trend, but accelerated it."