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IHS Drops 2012 PC Shipment Forecast

El Segundo, Calif. – PC shipments will fall 1.2 percent this year, according to a new forecast by IHS iSuppli.

The research firm is now predicting about 348.7 million units will ship in 2012, down from 352.8 million last year. If this holds true it will mark the first time in 11 years that shipments have decreased year over year, the company said.

Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for computer systems at HIS, cited several factors for the decrease. The usual back-to-school sales bump has fizzled and Ultrabook sales have not been as robust as originally hoped, he said.

With just a few months remaining in 2012, Stice said there are additional items that can further impact the PC market:

*The impact of Windows 8 on sales during the fourth quarter.

*Will the continued worldwide economic slowdown neutralize any interest generated in Ultrabooks.

*Will tablets and smartphones supplant computers as the go-to product for consumers during the holidays.

iSuppli is painting a somewhat brighter picture for the PC market in 2013. Although it has reduced its forecast for the year the company believes the Windows 8 OS along with Ultrabooks and other ultrathin laptops could have a positive impact on sales. However, the challenge presented by smartphones and tablets will be formidable.