2011 PC Shipments Forecast Slashed

Growth of PC shipments in 2011 is set to drop to just below

4 per cent, a large drop from previous predictions of almost 10 per cent growth, according to

a leading research group.

Gartner has predicted that worldwide PC shipments are on

pace to total 364 million units in 2011, a 3.8 per cent growth over 2010. Previous

estimates had suggested that PC shipments would grow by 9.3 per cent in 2011 – to over 400 million units. The

notably lower outlook for 2011 PC growth is largely due to sharply downgraded

forecasts for Western Europe and the United States in the second half of

the year.

While the outlook is a lot brighter for 2012 according to

Gartner, it has also lowered expectations, down from 12.8 per cent to

10.9 per cent growth, thanks to the weaker performance in 2011 and a slower start to

2012.

The second half of 2012 is expected to have better growth as

economies stabilise and new mobile PC form factors enter the market – such as

the latest batch of Ultrabooks. The figures compiled by Gartner did not include

tablets, which will be forecast separately.

Pc Shipments 2011 Gartner

The reason for the pessimistic outlook according to Ranjit

Atwal, research director at Gartner, is that younger people no longer see PCs

as their first, or necessarily main device. “For older buyers, today’s PCs

are not a particularly compelling product, so they continue to extend

lifetimes, as PC shops and IT departments repair rather than replace these

systems,” Atwal said.

Obviously tablets have had a major effect on the PC market and George

Shiffler, research director at Gartner, referenced HP’s recent decision to

rethink its PC strategy as a reflection of this situation.

“Vendors’ tried and true business models are failing as

traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users continue

to lengthen PC lifetimes. Vendors only seem to be flailing as they look for quick

fixes to their problems. Unfortunately, the resulting chaos is just creating

more confusion across the entire PC supply chain, impacting sell-in,”

Shiffler said.

Source: Gartner