The PC turned 30 on August 12th, the anniversary of the IBM 5150‘s launch in 1981. For the first time since, the US has been displaced as the PC’s largest market, as declining American sales met surging demand from China. From Bloomberg:
Personal-computer shipments in China rose 14 percent to 18.5 million units during the second quarter, the first time they surpassed the number in the U.S., where they fell 4.8 percent to 17.7 million, Bryan Ma, an analyst at research firm IDC, said in an interview today. On a full-year basis, China will likely pass the U.S. in 2012, he said.
The estimates highlight the growing importance of China, which passed the U.S. in 2009 in the car market, as the world’s consumer. Illustrating the divergence, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), the PC industry’s largest producer, said this month it’s considering pulling out of the business and China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. (992) posted quarterly profit that almost doubled.