Stamford, Conn. - Mobile PC shipments will drive up worldwide computer shipment numbers for 2009 almost 3 percent, said Gartner.
This is a major turnaround from what research firm Gartner was predicting just two months ago. In September the company expected a 2 percent decline in shipments, but a strong third quarter spurred the increase. Adding fuel to the 2009 rally is the fact that shipments in the fourth quarter of 2008 were very low, making the growth during the fourth quarter this year appear even stronger, said George Shiffler, Gartner's research director.
Gartner is forecasting for this trend to continue into 2010 when worldwide computer shipments will again gain double-digit growth, with 336.6 million units leaving factories, a 12.6 percent jump over 2009.
Mobile PC shipments will hit 162 million units this year, a 15.4 percent increase. This will jump to 196.4 million units in 2010. Netbook shipments will be responsible for a major portion of this increase, with shipments rising to 29 million this year and to 41 million in 2010.
However, the shipment increases will not help retailers' bottom lines as average selling prices will continue to fall.
The average market value for all PCs expected to ship this year will decline 10.7 percent to $217 billion, according to Gartner. However, this will turn around slightly next year, with Gartner expecting a 2.6 percent increase in overall market value.
Shiffler said consumers' desire for "good enough" PCs has forced down average selling prices. This downward trend will slow as the worldwide recession begins to fade, but Shiffler does not see an increase in average selling prices any time soon.