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Gartner: PC Shipments To Rebound In 2010

Gartner expects the worldwide PC market to make a dramatic recover in 2010, posting a 10.3 percent gain in units shipped compared with 2009.

The research firm also adjusted its 2009 forecast, stating a 6 percent decline in units shipped, to 274 million units, is now expected. The falloff has been mitigated somewhat by what should be a stronger-than-originally anticipated fourth quarter, which should now see an increase in units shipped. Gartner did not release an exact figure for this increase.

This latest forecast is brighter than two previous reports posted earlier this year by Gartner. In May the company expected a 6.6 percent drop was likely for 2009, while in March a 9.2 percent decline was anticipated.

George Shiffler, Gartner’s research director, said forecasts had to be adjusted due to stronger-than-expected PC shipments during the first quarter. However, he cautioned that there is still a great deal of volatility in the market and it is premature to say that a full-blown recovery is taking place.

Shiffler further explained the market’s dynamics, saying most of the recent strength in the consumer market is due to retailers restocking and not a large uptick in demand.

The PC market also benefitted from the ongoing popularity of netbooks and mini notebooks. Shiffler noted the netbook category did post its first quarter-over-quarter decline this year, primarily due to poor economic conditions and the greater competition now taking place in this segment.

“In effect, mini notebooks are becoming just another value-based mobile-PC offering, he said.”

Mobile PCs shipments should total 149 million units in 2009, a 4.1 increase over 2008, while desktop shipments continue to dive, falling 15.7 percent to 125 million units. Despite the increase in mobile PC sales, average selling prices will drive dollar sales down 12.8 percent, primarily due to the impact of low-priced netbooks, Shiffler said.