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Tough PC Market In 2007: Gartner

Stamford, Conn. — The research firm Gartner gave a mixed forecast for the 2007 computer sales environment, saying dollar and unit revenue will rise but the market is facing several potential constraints.

Worldwide PC shipments are predicted to rise 10.5 percent this year to 255.7 million, with most of this growth taking place in emerging markets and with mobile PCs and dollar sales are expected to increase 4.6 percent to $213.7 billion compared with 2006, said George Shiffler, Gartner’s client platforms market group research director.

The boost notebook computers and emerging markets give the category will be tempered by continued falling average selling prices, a slowing replacement cycle and lower demand for desktop computers in mature markets, Shiffler said. These issues could cause some PC vendors to abandon the category, he said.

The bump in sales expected by the release of Microsoft’s Vista operating system at the end of January will do little to alleviate this situation, Gartner said. Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner’s principle analyst for Gartner’s client computing markets group, said Vista simply does not have enough “must-have” features to spur consumers and businesses to go out and buy a new PC.