China is officially biggest PC market worldwide says research firm

China has become the biggest PC market in the world for the first time ever on an annual basis. Last year, PC manufacturers shipped 69 million units to the Chinese market compared to 66 million for the US. Per capita though, the US still largely leads the Chinese market.

The ratio of desktops to laptops is roughly 50:50 in China compared to a global figure of 36:64 which is largely due to the massive untapped Chinese rural market which accounts for a large portion of the country’s 1.34 billion citizens.

A household without computer would, in theory, first get a desktop for the family to use before either transitioning to individual laptops or smartphones/tablets. That said, IHS Suppli, expect laptops to surpass desktops in China as early as next year as the price premium between them is shrunk even further.

The research company also noted that consumers tend to prefer laptops with a screen size of 14in.

That accounts for 70 per cent of the market compared to only 30 per cent for the rest of the world where 13.3in and 15.6in laptops are more popular.

Another notable trend to the Chinese market is that most of the PCs shipped there do not come with an operating system. This is often used as a means to reduce the acquisition costs. Less than half of the laptops or desktops sold in China actually come with one.