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Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 12:53 pm PT (03:53 pm ET)

China surpassed US in Q2 2011 to become the largest PC market

IDC reports that China has surpassed the US in demand for PCs, with the country consuming 18.5 million shipments worth $11.9 billion, compared to domestic shipments of 17.7 million units worth $11.7 billion.

The firm's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report states China now accounts for a 22% share of the global PC market, compared to 21 percent for the US.

"On a full year basis, IDC still expects the U.S. to remain the largest market in 2011, with 73.5 million units forecast to be shipped in the U.S. versus 72.4 million in China," the firm reports.

"Similarly, holiday season buying in the U.S. will likely keep it ahead of China in the fourth quarter, especially as China's market contracts after its third quarter summer promotions. IDC does not expect China to exceed the U.S. in full year shipments until 2012, when 85.2 million units are forecast to be shipped in China and 76.6 million units in the U.S."

The firm labels its China figures as PRC (People's Republic of China), suggesting that those sales only relate to mainland China and not the "Greater China" region that includes Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The report cites Kitty Fok, IDC's vice president for Greater China research, as saying "the Chinese government's 12th Five-Year Plan should help large enterprises in various infrastructure verticals to continue to move along, not to mention of course the ongoing efforts to increase consumer penetration in lower-tier cities," suggesting that the number pertains to the PRC itself, despite IDC having a "Greater China Research" group.

IDC's figures do not include the iPad, but do include netbooks and other portable computers. That excludes 9.25 million Apple devices sold the June quarter, equivalent to nearly half of the PC market in China.