ENGLEWOOD, Colo., April 29 (UPI) -- China has surpassed the United States as the world's biggest market for personal computers, a U.S. market research firm reports.
The company, IHS, said PC shipments to China rose to 69 million units in 2012, compared with the 66 million units sold in the United States. Previously, the United States was the largest market, it said.
While laptops have overtaken desktops in developed markets, in China the sale of desktops and laptops is evenly split, the report said.
"The equal share of shipments for desktops and notebooks in China is unusual, since consumers in most regions today tend to prefer more agile mobile PCs, rather than the bulky, stationary desktops," said Peter Lin, senior analyst for compute platforms at IHS.
"The relatively large percentage of desktop PC shipments in China is due to huge demand in the country's rural areas, which account for a major segment of the country's 1.34 billion citizens. These consumers tend to prefer the desktop form factor," he said in an IHS release Monday.
China's government has said it plans to invest $6.4 trillion to build computer infrastructure throughout the country's rural areas in the next 10 years.