Stamford, Conn. - Gartner is projecting continued growth in the PC sector, albeit at a slower pace than originally anticipated.
The research firm is pegging 2011 worldwide PC growth to total 364 million units, up 3.8 percent from 2010. Growth will continue in 2012 with 404 million units shipping, a 10.9 percent increase.
However, for both years growth is down from what Gartner originally projected. The company expected 2011 growth to be 9.3 percent, followed by 12.8 percent in 2012.
Weak sales in the United States and Western Europe are the culprit for the unexpected downturn due to poor economic conditions and excess inventory.
Although the final numbers are not in, Gartner believes the 2011 back-to-school selling period was not strong, and it does not expect consumers and businesses to open up their wallets until a firmer indication is in place concerning the world's economy.
Adding to the PCs problem is the growth of tablet PCs, which give consumers an additional place to spend their money.
"Media tablets have dramatically changed the dynamic of the PC market and HP's decision to rethink its PC strategy simply highlights the pressure that PC vendors are under to adapt to the new dynamic or abandon the market," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "Vendors' tried and true business models are failing as traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users continue to lengthen PC lifetimes."