One billion PCs are now in use

There are now more than one billion PCs in use worldwide and this number will double by the year 2014, according to Gartner research. The figures relate to computers that are actually being used, as opposed to those that have merely been shipped over a period of time. Over half of these PCs (58 per cent) are based in established markets such as Western Europe, Japan and the US.

But these regions only account for 15 per cent of the world's population. Users in emerging markets will play an increasingly large role in driving global take up, said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "We expect per-capita PC penetration in emerging markets to double by 2013," said Shiffler.

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