News

Gartner Forecasts Better-Than-Expected PC Shipments

Gartner reported a better-than-expected first quarter for PC shipments and is now forecasting a healthy market recovery in 2010, according to a released statement.

"We may have been a little pessimistic in our previous forecast for 2009," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner, in a telephone interview. "We expected a very bad first quarter, but it didn't happen. Looking at it, consumer demand was much greater than expected."

The bump in shipments may be temporary, however, because it was attributed mostly to a restocking of inventory by distribution channels.

"It may be temporary and, in fact, we are forecasting the second and third quarters to be lower than the first," Shiffler said. "But things are probably going to get better. They [distribution channels] wouldn't be restocking if they didn't think things were going to get better."

The report notes that "mini-notebooks" helped drive the consumer side, even though the space recorded its first quarter-over-quarter decline to date. Shiffler said the gaining popularity of the smaller computing devices is due mostly to price.

"I'm not sure there's anything unique about mini-notebooks except that they are more affordable than higher-end machines," Shiffler said. "There has been a lot of hype about them, and in these economic times they make sense for a lot of people. But there will always be users that require more functionality than those types of units can provide."

Shiffler said that while they are declining in popularity, desktop machines will not be going away any time soon.

"There are a lot of functions that are just done better on PCs, and there's still a great pool of users that need desktop functionality," he said. "The challenge in the long term to traditional PCs will likely be in thin client machines that tap a server or cloud service for functionality."

The report notes that PC shipments were better than expected in all markets except for Eastern Europe, and that consumer shipments were stronger than business shipments. Gartner expects to see positive growth in PCs in the fourth quarter and a 10.3 percent gain next year.

"I think the PC market will continue to chug along with more quality improvements and continued pressure on vendors to lower the price," Shiffler said. "What the industry needs is a jolt. There's just no killer app out there on the horizon that will cause a quantum jump in sales."

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

Featured

  • Surface and ARM: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Follow Apple's Lead and Dump Intel

    Microsoft's current Surface flagship, the Surface Pro X, already runs on ARM. But as the ill-fated Surface RT showed, going all-in on ARM never did Microsoft many favors.

  • IT Security Isn't Supposed To Be Easy

    Joey explains why it's worth it to endure a little inconvenience for the long-term benefits of a password manager and multifactor authentication.

  • Microsoft Makes It Easier To Self-Provision PCs via Windows Autopilot When VPNs Are Used

    Microsoft announced this week that the Windows Autopilot service used with Microsoft Intune now supports enrolling devices, even in cases where virtual private networks (VPNs) might get in the way.

  • Most Microsoft Retail Locations To Shut Down

    Microsoft is pivoting its retail operations to focus more on online sales, a plan that would mean the closing of most physical Microsoft Store locations.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.