Gartner: PC markets have recovered

chart up

Worldwide PC shipments jumped by 22.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009, the highest quarterly growth in seven years, according to Gartner.

While the firm noted the numbers were compared to an exceptionally weak quarter in 2008, that didn't stop the analysts from claiming the struggling PC market had recovered.

"These preliminary results indicate the recovery of the PC market on a global level," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

Kitagawa said that the US and Asia-Pacific had seen growth already last year, but more "concrete evidence" of recovery was seen in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) now.

"The EMEA PC market was finally on the upward growth curve in the fourth quarter of 2009, and was the last major region across the world to do so," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner's client computing markets group in EMEA. "The quarter over quarter increase was nearly 17 per cent indicating a return to seasonal patterns."

He added that the good news should continue in the next few quarters. "We predict that the EMEA PC market will exhibit five percent growth in the second quarter of 2010, and we anticipate a 10 percent growth for 2010," he said.

Netbooks and laptops

As ever, growth was driven by netbooks.

"As economic weakness continued, buyers became extremely price sensitive. Low-priced PCs were good enough for many average consumers," Kitagawa said.

"Windows 7 was launched during the fourth quarter of 2009. Though the new operating system launch did not create additional PC demand, the launch was a good market tool during holiday sales," she added.

Earlier this week, rival analysts Forrester declared the tech downturn as "unofficially over."