Gartner: Worldwide PC market shows signs of recovery

Analyst firm claims the worst may be over

The worst may be over for the PC industry, as PC shipments are on pace to reach 285 million units in 2009, a 2 percent decline from 2008 shipments of 291 million, according to Gartner.

"PC demand appears be running stronger than we expected, especially in the US and China," said George Shiffler, Director- Research, Gartner. "Mobile PC shipments have regained momentum, especially in emerging markets and the decline in desk-based PC shipments is slowing down. We think shipments are likely to be growing again in Q4 2009."

Despite the increasingly positive outlook for the PC market, Gartner does not envision global shipments experiencing growth this year. For PC shipments to post growth for the year, shipments would have to grow at least 4 percent in the second half of 2009 compared with the second half of 2008.

"We don't expect the release of Windows 7 to influence PC demand at year-end," said Shiffler. "Windows 7 may generate a bump in home demand and some added demand among small businesses. However, we aren't expecting larger businesses, governments and educational institutions to express demand for the new operating system until late 2010. We're actually concerned that vendors will overestimate the demand for Windows 7 and end up carrying excess inventories into 2010," he added.

"Unit-wise, 2010 should be a better year for the PC market," said Shiffler. "We now expect units to grow 12.6 percent next year as mobile PC growth continues to gain momentum and desk-based PC growth turns positive due to revived replacement activity. However, we don't see on-going declines in PC average selling prices slowing down next year," he said.

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