PC shipments to improve in 2012, but still modest

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NEW YORK (AP) — A research group says personal-computer shipments will pick up in the second half of the year with the debut of a new Windows operating system and the broader availability of notebooks that are thin like tablet computers.

IDC expects growth in PC shipments this year to be a modest 5 percent. In healthier times, PC shipments had double-digit percentage growth. IDC's forecast is in line with other recent estimates.

IDC says PC shipments worldwide grew less than 2 percent last year. The growth came from emerging markets, while the industry saw a 9 percent drop in mature markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe. A weak economy and consumer interest in tablets were to blame.

Another research group, Gartner, also has forecast a relatively weak 2012.

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