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Worst may now be over for PC industry

Gartner says shipments are on pace to reach 285 million units this year, reflecting a 2% decline instead of an expected 6% drop

Worst may now be over for PC industry
Global PC shipment units are predicted to reach 285 million in 2009.

Market research firm Gartner is predicting that the worst may now be over for the global PC industry with higher than expected sales figures.

Worldwide PC shipment units are now on track to reach 285 million this year, reflecting a 2% decline from 2008 figures. Though the numbers obviously don’t show a complete recovery just yet, the revised estimates are more promising than Gartner’s March forecast that the year would see a 6% drop, reaching only 257 million units.

"PC demand appears be running much stronger than we expected back in June, especially in the U.S. and China," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "Mobile PC shipments have regained substantial momentum, especially in emerging markets, and the decline in desk-based PC shipments is slowing down. We think shipments are likely to be growing again in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the fourth quarter of 2008."

Worldwide netbook shipments are expected to reach 25 million units in 2009, up from Gartner's previous projection of 21 million shipments, and the mood is generally more positive for the sector as a whole.

Gartner does point out however that the assumption that Microsoft’s release of Windows 7 in October will tip the growth scales is not accurate.

"We don't expect the release of Windows 7 to significantly influence PC demand at year-end," Shiffler said, adding that "we're actually more concerned that vendors will overestimate the initial demand for Windows 7 and end up carrying excess inventories into 2010."

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