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PC Shipment Outlook Brightening

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.