Tablets shrinking PC market: Gartner

Robert Clark
Sales of iPads and other tablets are cutting into the PC market.
Research firm Gartner has cut its 2010 and 2011 PC forecasts, “due in no small part” to growing user demand for tablets, and tablets to displace around 10% of PC sales by 2014. 
Gartner has trimmed its 2010 forecast to 352.4 million units in 2010, a 14.3% increase, but down from the 17.9% projected in September.
It tips 409 million PCs to ship in 2011, up 15.9%, more than two points short of its earlier estimate of 18.1%.
“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 research director Ranjit Atwal.
Research analyst Raphael Vasquez said users would increasingly embrace tablets and next-gen smartphones “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,” he said.
Gartner said consumers and businesses would refrain from buying PCs in the near-term “as they collectively rebuild their finances” in the face of slower income growth and a cloudy economic outlook.
Emerging markets would account for more than 50% of PC sales in 2011, it added.

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