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PC market growth to return by Q4

by Scott Bicheno on 25 June 2009, 11:05

Tags: Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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Bouncing back

Market researcher Gartner has focused on a projected fall of six percent in worldwide PC shipments in the headline of its latest worldwide PC shipment forecast, but we'd rather dwell on 2010, when things look like improving significantly.

Gartner expects growth to return to the PC sector by the fourth quarter of this year and predicts a "healthy recovery" in 2010, with forecasted growth in unit shipments of 10.3 percent. Even the overall unit shipment decline is a major positive revision of its March forecast of a 9.2 percent decline.

"PC unit growth was stronger than we expected in all markets but Eastern Europe in the first quarter of 2009. In particular, consumer shipments were much stronger than we anticipated," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner.

"However, professional shipments continued to struggle, and we think much of the growth in consumer units was due to vendors and the channel restocking inventories rather than an upsurge in demand. We expect units to contract roughly 10 percent year over year in both second and third quarter 2009 before they post positive growth in the fourth quarter."

Q1 saw the first sequential decline in shipments on mini-notebooks (netbooks) since they first appeared. "While this was in part the result of the general contraction in PC shipments to the EMEA region, it also reflects increasing competition between mini-notebooks and low-end mainstream mobile PCs as the former evolve toward larger screen sizes, and the latter continue to drop in price. In effect, mini-notebooks are becoming just another value-based mobile-PC offering," said Shiffler.