Gartner revises PC shipments forecast


Worldwide PC shipments will remain fairly healthy this year, but won't be as high as previously anticipated.

Analyst firm Gartner had predicted that 2010 shipments would be up by 17.9 per cent year-on-year, but it has now revised that forecast to just over 14 per cent.

The company's latest figures suggest that worldwide PC shipments will reach 352.4 million units this year. Next year's number predictions are slightly healthier, however, with shipments expected to rise by 15.9 per cent to top 409 million units. They're still down on the 18.1 per cent growth previously tipped for 2011 though.

"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 the iPad," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

"Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 per cent of PC units by 2014."

There will also be many so-called 'disruptive forces' that will have an adverse affect on market numbers going forward, according to Gartner.

The analyst firm suggested that five key things will challenge the industry:

* Emerging markets keeping strong

* Consumers having less money to spend

* The impact of longer PC life cycles

* Thin-client adoption

* New device contenders posing challenges

"PC market growth will be impacted by devices that enable better on-the-go content consumption such as media tablets and next-generation smartphones," added Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at 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."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.