Gartner says PC market will grow this year

Robert Clark
24 Nov 2009

Research house Gartner says PC-makers will ship more products this year, thanks to growing demand for notebooks and netbooks.

Revising its September numbers, which predicted a 2% decline, Gartner’s preliminary forecast tips 2.8% growth in unit sales this year to 298.9 million.

However, it says sales revenue will fall 10.7% to $217 billion, a result of “the unprecedented declines in PC average selling prices (ASPs),” according to research director George Shiffler.

“The rapid decline in PC ASPs reflects a marked shift towards lower price points as customers have looked for 'good enough' PCs at the cheapest price, and vendors have tried to spur market growth by catering to ever-lower price points,” he said.

The big driver has been mobile PCs, such as laptops and netbooks, which are expected to grow 15.4% to 162 million units. By contrast, demand for desk-based PCs shrank 9%.

This year’s growth turnaround was also boosted by unexpectedly strong Q3 shipments, and “that alone virtually guaranteed we would see positive growth this year.”

“We're anticipating seasonally modest growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, but because shipments were so weak in the fourth quarter of 2008, growth will appear quite strong. This could lull vendors and market watchers into thinking the market is recovering faster than it really is.”

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