Gartner: PC shipments to grow 20 percent in 2010, driven by tablets like the iPad

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gartner: PC shipments to grow 20 pct in 2010

STAMFORD, Conn. — Global PC shipments will rise nearly 20 percent this year on the rising popularity of notebooks and next-generation tablets, according to a forecast Thursday from research firm Gartner Inc.

As recently as December, Gartner foresaw an increase of only 13 percent in shipments as the economy rebounded.

Gartner expects the PC market to “remain robust.” Demand for home PCs, as well as replacement computers at businesses, will increase as the economy bounces back, the research firm said.

“Apple’s iPad is just one of many new devices coming to market that will change the entire PC ecosystem and overlap it with the mobile phone industry,” said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “This will create significantly more opportunities for PC vendors as well as significantly more threats.”

Gartner expects up to 10.5 million tablet devices to ship this year.

Gartner expects PC shipments to hit 366.1 million units in 2010, up from 305.8 million units last year.

Spending on personal computers, meanwhile, is expected to grow 12 percent to $245 billion as both consumers and companies start shopping.

Yet the bulk of the growth will be driven by increasingly portable computers such as notebooks and tablets. Mini-notebooks — smaller, cheaper laptops often called netbooks — will boost mobile PC growth in 2010, Gartner said.

But after that, their contribution is expected to “decline noticeably” as they face growing competition from tablets and even smaller, “ultraportable” computers.

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