As worldwide desktop shipments continue to slow, notebooks are expected to represent more than half of all client PCs by 2011, according to an IDC report released Tuesday.
PC shipments worldwide rose only 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 15 percent growth rate for the same period last year. IDC attributes the declining growth to corporate buyers purchasing fewer desktops, especially in the more mature markets.
Desktop shipments grew an anemic 2 percent to 138.3 million in 2006, while portables--a category that doesn't include handhelds--jumped 26.3 percent to 82.4 million, according to the report.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. retail sales of notebooks surpassed desktops in 2005.
"In the United States, portable PC shipments will maintain double-digit growth through 2010, but this shift to mobility will not be enough to offset reduced demand for desktops," Doug Bell, IDC personal computing program analyst, said in a statement.
IDC, however, notes that the release of Microsoft's Windows Vista will likely lead to a temporary boost in desktop shipments later this year and into early next year, but the declining growth rate is expected to reemerge shortly afterward.
"While more replacements and Vista adoption may provide a brief respite for desktops in 2008, essentially all desktop growth will occur in emerging regions," Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said in a statement.