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PC shipments set for solid growth

Worldwide PC shipments are forecast to increase 10.5% this year to total 255.7 million units, with revenues to rise 4.6% to US$213.7 billion, according to Gartner.

Worldwide PC shipments are forecast to increase 10.5% this year to total 255.7 million units, with revenues to rise 4.6% to US$213.7 billion, according to Gartner.

The research firm said growth drivers in the PC market would remain largely unchanged, with emerging markets and the notebook sector continuing to be the best opportunities for vendors to grow sales.

"We expect the market environment to be much the same over the near term as it has been recently. Emerging markets and mobile PCs will continue to afford PC vendors their best opportunities for growth," commented George Shiffler, research director for Gartner Dataquest's Client Platforms Markets Group.

However, the firm warned that falling average selling prices (ASPs), slowing replacement activity and further declines in mature market desktop PC sales would keep vendors under pressure to consolidate or exit the market altogether.

On Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, Gartner said it would at best have only a limited impact on the PC market over the course of the next year.

The research firm predicted Vista would have virtually no impact on PC shipments to larger businesses this year, but for consumers and small businesses that do buy new computers this year, Gartner said the uptake would be strong.

"Vista's effect on PC shipments ultimately depends on the number of consumers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that find its new features compelling enough to buy a new PC," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Client Computing Markets Group.

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