Gartner analysts say PC shipments to grow 11% in 2008

Strong growth in mobile PC sector and emerging markets driving growth, but slowdown in market may lie ahead

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 25, 2008

Gartner is predicting that PC shipments will rise from 264 million units in 2007 to some 293 million units in 2008, an increase of 11%.

However, the company also warned that if the global economy slows any further the percentage growth may drop into single figures.

According to Gartner, global demand for mobile PCs will be a key driver of this market growth. The company pointed out that technology and design improvements have improved the value proposition of mobile PCs relative to desktop PCs, and that the new trend of entry level ‘affordable’ notebooks aids this further.

Another element stimulating market growth is emerging IT markets. 60% of worldwide PC market growth in 2007 occurred in developing countries.

Gartner has predicted 2008 to be the first year of a new desktop replacement cycle that should run until early 2010. The last major replacement cycle occurred from 2004 to 2005, so the market will be receiving a helpful boost as many people and organizations upgrade their machines again.

George Shiffler, research director at Gartner said: “In many respects, the PC market is fundamentally in good shape. Mobile PCs continue to exhibit strong momentum, emerging-market growth remains robust, and desk-based PC replacement activity is stirring.

“However, a deepening US recession, the rising possibility of a sharp slowdown in China’s economy following the Beijing Olympics, and the elevated price of oil mean global PC shipments face increasing economic headwinds,” he added.

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