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Worldwide PC shipments to grow 14 percent in 2010: Gartner

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DQW Bureau
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Worldwide PC shipments are on pace to

total 352.4 million units in 2010, a 14.3 percent increase from 2009,

according to the latest preliminary forecast by href="https://www.dqweek.com/gartner-s-latest-forecast">Gartner.

These

projections are down from Gartner's previous PC shipment forecast

in September of 17.9 percent growth. 2011 worldwide PC shipments are

forecast to reach 409 million units, a 15.9 percent increase from

2010. This is down from Gartner's earlier estimate of 18.1 percent

growth for 2011.

“These results reflect marked

reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of

weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest

in media tablets such as iPad,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research

Director, Gartner. “Over the longer term, media tablets are

expected to displace around 10 percent of PC units by 2014,” he

said. While Gartner does not regard the current dynamics in the PC

market quite yet as an inflexion point, analysts do see many

disruptive forces coming together that will weaken the market moving

forward. “PC market growth will be impacted by devices that enable

better on-the-go content consumption such as media tablets and

next-generation smartphones,” said Raphael Vasquez, Research

Analyst, Gartner. “These devices will be increasing embraced as

complements if not substitutes for PCs where voice and light data

consumption are desired. It is likely that desk-based PCs will be

adversely impacted over the long-term by the adoption of hosted

virtual desktops, which can readily use other devices like thin

clients,” Vasquez said.

“PCs are still seen as necessities,

but the PC industry's inability to significantly innovate and its

overreliance on a business model predicated on driving volume through

price declines are finally impacting the industry's ability to induce

new replacement cycles,” said George Shiffler, Research Director at

Gartner. “As the PC market slows, vendors that differentiate

themselves through services and technology innovation rather than

unit volume and price will dictate the future. Even then, leading

vendors will be challenged to keep PCs from losing the device

'limelight' to more innovative products that offer better

dedicated compute capabilities,” he added. In the near term, many

consumers and businesses will continue to refrain from buying PCs, as

they collectively rebuild their finances in the face of slower income

growth, weaker employment gains and a cloudy economic outlook. Over

the longer-term, users are likely to slow PC replacements and extend

PC lifetimes as they turn to other devices as their primary computing

platform.

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