You run into an interesting problem if you're a computer manufacturer. You're supposed to make your units better and faster all the time, of course, but overall the price you charge for your rigs generally gets cheaper. That means you could sell more units year over year and still end up with less revenue because each unit is worth less. It's apparently not a problem this year, as estimates for the total value of PCs sold worldwide for the year are growing at a brisk rate, and there's a rosy outlook for revenue through 2012.
IDC now expects shipments to rise 15.2 percent over last year, compared with a 2008 forecast of 12.8 percent growth that the Framingham, Mass.-based firm made in March.
Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, which uses different methods than IDC to track shipments, now forecasts a 12.5 percent increase from the 264 million units it counted last year, up from its 10.9 percent projection three months ago.
Notebooks are beginning to displace desktops as the weapon of choice for many, including some very low-cost units, so the big unit increases are offset by cheaper per-unit prices. It still will add up to 9.6 percent revenue growth for manufacturers this year, according to research firm IDC. Or perhaps the entire bump in revenue growth is from Apple selling one MacBook Air.