Worldwide, the number of computers per person is predicted to rise. While it’s nice to get a shiny, new computer, the news is of greater interest to technology exchange traded fund (ETF) investors.

North America forecast set to have the highest rate of personal computers per person in 2010, says the Economist Intelligence Unit’s forecasts. So far, in the United States and Canada the ratio is about one per person, according to the Economist. [6 tech companies to watch in 2010.]

Globally, PC penetration will continue to rise closer to one computer for every three people. Western Europeans have nearly 70 PCs per 100 people. But fewer than one-fifth of people in Asia or Australasia are forecast to own a PC in 2010. Will the gap close once China ups its information technology spending next year? [How China and its demand affects markets and ETFs.]

As notebooks get slimmer and laptops become more advanced, it could spur sales. Cheaper computers could translate into a sales increase of as much as 8% next year. [Holiday shopping season already indicates an uptick in technology sales.]

For more stories about technology, visit our technology category.

  • iShares Goldman Sachs Software Index (NYSEArca: IGM): up 63.4% year-to-date

  • Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK): up 51.5% year-to-date

  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology (NYSEArca: IYW): up 64.7% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.