One of the many growing demands in China.

For the first time ever, China has just become the biggest consumer of PCs, surpassing the United States who has dropped to second. According to new market research by IDC, computer makers shipped about 18.5 million PCs in China in the second quarter with the US receiving 17.7 million. China shipped 22 percent of the PCs sold worldwide, which shows a staggering 14 percent quarter on quarter growth…

Still, the US is expected to be the world’s largest market for the full year thanks to back-to-school sales and holiday sales that will bring the country’s numbers back up. However, it’s quite possible that 2012 will see China having the world’s largest market for the entire next year. IDC predicts that 85.2 million PCs will be shipped in China in 2012 compared to the 76.6 million in the U.S.

PC sales fell 4.2 percent in the US, which is no doubt a result of our struggling economy. However, the total for the U.S. will be about 1 million more for the 2011 year than what China is supposed to get.

Loren Loverde, an IDC vice president, said that China’s lead in the PC market is a huge shift that “reflects the rising fortunes of emerging markets as well as the relative stagnation of more mature regions.” This new trend isn’t all that surprising since China already has the world’s largest Internet population which surpassed the U.S. back in 2008.

Toshihiro Nagahama, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc. in Tokyo said this was going to happen sooner or later, just like the car market. China has a huge population, and their income is rising.

It’s important to note that market research numbers are often not exactly the most accurate of measurements, but they’re the best we have. In IDC’s case, the numbers refer to shipments to distributors and end users, so, the number also includes PCs that haven’t been sold.

via SF Gate