The worldwide PC market continued to expand at a healthy pace in the second quarter of 2006, although growth was slower than in recent quarters, according to recent data.

Total PC shipments exceeded 52 million units and growth was 9.8 percent for the quarter, 0.6 percent behind expectations, according to market research firm, IDC. Despite the slower second quarter, IDC expects the second half of 2006 to be strong enough to maintain double-digit growth for the year.

Mature regions, like the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, are exhibiting more conservative growth trends, while developing regions are not only growing faster, but exceeding expectations, said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Inventory reduction and the FIFA World Cup kept PC shipments in Western Europe and Japan slower than expected. Growth in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan and Rest of World was down slightly from the prior quarter, but still ahead of expectations while growth in the United States rose slightly from the first quarter.

Looking forward, we expect desktop shipments will begin to stabilize, particularly in the enterprise segment, said Bob O'Donnell, vice president Clients and Displays. However, consumer notebook adoption will fuel industry growth and move us closer to the day when notebooks will out-ship desktop PCs.