Gartner has slashed its PC growth forecasts for both 2010 and 2011 after concluding that the rise of the media tablet will make an increasingly serious dent in consumer PC sales.
The market watcher now predicts that 2010 global PC shipments will be 14.3 per cent higher than last year, topping 352.4 million units. As recently as September, Gartner predicted that annual PC shipments would be up by as much as 17.9 per cent this year.
Additionally, the market watcher has also downgraded its worldwide growth predictions for PC shipments during 2011 from 18.1 to 15.9 per cent and 409 million units.
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said the revisions reflected the anticipated downturn in consumer demand for PCs.
He said: "These results reflect marked reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due to [the] growing interest in media tablets, such as the iPad.
"Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 per cent of PC units by 2014," he added.
The firm also cites the continuing economic uncertainty and the growing interest in thin client devices as key factors in the downturn in demand for PCs.
Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner, explained: "Desk-based PCs will be adversely impacted over the long-term by the adoption of hosted virtual desktops, which can readily use other devices like thin clients."
The analyst house claims that PC vendors specialising in services and innovation, rather than unit volumes and price, will be leading the market in the future.
George Shiffler, research director at Gartner, added: "Even then, leading vendors will be challenged to keep PCs from losing the device ‘limelight' to more innovative products that offer better dedicated compute capabilities."
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