PC Market Forecast: Take Two Tablets and Call Me in the Morning

Published on September 8, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Gartner on Thursday slashed its worldwide PC shipment growth forecast for this year and next. The reasons: Economic concerns, of course. And tablets.

Worldwide PC shipments for 2011 will top out at roughly 364 million, a 3.8 percent increase over 2010, Gartner said. That is a precipitous drop from the research outfit’s previous forecast of 9.3 percent growth. And in 2012 it expects PC shipments to total 404 million after growing 10.9 percent compared to this year, lower than its previous projection of 12.8 percent.

According to Gartner, a tightening of consumer and business spending resulted in far weaker than expected PC sales in the second quarter. And that decline is being compounded by a shift in buying trends toward tablets, which some consumers view as more attractive.

“Generation Y has an altogether different view of client devices than older generations and are not buying PCs as their first, or necessarily main, device,” said Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal. “For older buyers, today’s PCs are not a particularly compelling product, so they continue to extend lifetimes, as PC shops and IT departments repair rather than replace these systems.”

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