PC shipments showing signs of recovery, Gartner says

Worldwide PC shipments will grow by 10.3 percent in 2010, according to Gartner

The PC market is showing signs of recovery, with the freefall of PC shipments skidding to a halt thanks to competitive PC prices and a continued interest in netbooks, Gartner said on Thursday

Gartner said that PC shipments will decline due to the continued effects of the global recession, but at a slower rate than originally expected. Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by 6 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year, an upgrade from the 6.6 percent decrease earlier projected by Gartner.

That will set the stage for a healthy market recovery in 2010, when PC shipments will grow by 10.3 percent, said George Shiffler, principal analyst at Gartner. A strong first quarter helped stabilize PC shipments in 2009, and Gartner is projecting a strong fourth quarter.

"By that time we expect the global economy to be on the recovery path. Once the economy is on a sounder footing, the demand will be strengthened," Shiffler said. Demand for PCs has been more resilient than originally thought, with buyers responding to the falling prices of PCs, he said.

"We've pierced new price points for laptops, and not surprisingly, people are responding to that," Shiffler said.

Netbooks triggered new lows in laptop prices of under $US300, Shiffler said. That pricing pressure is now trickling into mainstream laptops, which have seen prices hover around $US500, dropping below $US400 in some instances, he said.

Netbooks are looking more like mainstream laptops as they get more expensive with larger screen sizes and keyboards, Shiffler said. At the same time, the prices of mainstream laptops are falling, which blurs the line between both the laptop categories.

But anecdotal evidence also suggests that people are finding out that netbooks have limited capabilities and are not substitutes for full-screen laptops, Shiffler said. That could drive some people back to buying mainstream laptops, he said.

Also challenging netbooks are ultrathin laptops, which are low-end, thin and light laptops priced starting at $US500. However, ultrathin laptops have just hit the market, so their impact on netbooks cannot be assessed.

"There's a market for a low-end notebooks, it's just not clear if it's only the mini-notebook. It's going to get very interesting to see what happens," Shiffler said. The shipment of netbooks -- which Gartner refers to as mini-notebooks -- will reach 21 million this year and 30 million next year, he said.

Microsoft's new Windows 7 OS, which is due for release on Oct. 22, will not be a major factor in the recovery of PC shipments, Shiffler said. On Thursday, Microsoft said that it planned to let people who buy PCs with Windows Vista starting this Friday upgrade to Windows 7 for free, once it becomes available in October.

"People aren't going to buy a new PC because of a new operating system," Shiffler said. Microsoft could try to counter the PC slowdown by launching a campaign to show that the OS is offering something new in PCs, but that may still not get consumers to spend on the OS, he said. Enterprise users will put off adopting Windows 7 for at least a year until all the kinks of the OS have been ironed out, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Gartnerrecoveryrecessionpc shipments

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?