Stamford, Conn. - Gartner analysts said the PC industry will ship more units than expected this year, a major turnaround from its previous prediction in June.
Gartner is now forecasting shipments will reach the 285 million mark for 2009. While this is still down 2 percent compared with 2008, the company had anticipated a 6 percent decline for the year.
Next year Gartner expects a return to double-digit growth with shipments increasing 12.6 percent over 2009, primarily due to an uptick in desktop PC sales as consumers and corporations begin a replacement cycle, the company said.
This year's change of fortune will take place on the back of healthy mobile computing shipments and may actually show year-over-year growth for the fourth quarter, said George Schiffler, Gartner's research director.
During the second quarter, netbooks started to face their first serious competition from low-priced notebooks, but overall netbook growth is still quite strong, Gartner said. In addition, the low-priced devices are putting a great deal of downward price pressure on the PC category as a whole.
In light of this, Gartner has updated its netbook forecast upward and now expects 25 million netbooks to ship this year worldwide, up from 21 million. This will hit 37 million in 2010, but Gartner then expects the netbook's market share to level off soon afterward.
However, Schiffler does not expect the October launch of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system to have a major impact on sales.