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Worldwide PC shipments to grow 20% this year

by Scott Bicheno on 4 March 2010, 14:24

Tags: Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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Back in December, market researcher Gartner forecast the worldwide PC market would grow by 13.3 percent in terms of volume and 1.9 percent in terms of revenue. Having observed a better than expected Q4, it has upwardly revised that prediction.

Gartner now reckons the worldwide PC market will see a 19.7 increase in shipments and a 12.2 percent increase in spending, to $245 billion. Not only is it good news to see such a positive forecast, but the pronounced improvement in projected value implies the industry is finally doing something to address average selling price erosion.

"The PC industry will be overwhelmingly driven by mobile PCs, thanks to strong home growth in both emerging and mature markets," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "We expect mobile PCs to drive 90 percent of PC growth over the next three years. In 2009, mobile PCs accounted for 55 percent of all PC shipments; by 2012, we expect mobile PCs to account for nearly 70 percent of shipments."

"Mini-notebooks are again forecast to boost mobile PC growth in 2010, but their contribution is expected to decline noticeably afterward, as they face growing competition from new ultra-low-voltage (ULV) ultraportables and next-generation tablets. Desk-based PC shipment growth will be minimal and limited to emerging markets."

On the subject of tablets, Gartner demonstrates the semantic challenge devices like the iPad have created. We prefer to call them slates, to set them apart from tablet PCs with keyboards. Gartner is going for ‘next-generation tablet devices', and reckons shipments of both types could top 10 million this year (out of a total of 366 million).

"Vendors can no longer afford to just think in terms of traditional PC form factors or architectures," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner. "With the rise of Web-delivered applications, many users no longer need a traditional PC running a resident general-purpose operating system and fast x86 CPU to satisfy their computing needs."


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