Gartner Lowers Predictions for 2011 and 2012 PC Shipments - HotHardware
Gartner Lowers Predictions for 2011 and 2012 PC Shipments

Gartner Lowers Predictions for 2011 and 2012 PC Shipments

The PC market is enduring a period of transition, and all of the changes, shifts in attitudes, and emergence of tablets and smartphones is making it tough to predict the market. Research firm Gartner has adjusted its predictions for PC shipments for the rest of 2011 and 2012 downward. Again.

Previously, Gartner predicted 9.3 percent growth for 2011 and 12.8 percent growth for 2012. Today, the firm lowered those predictions to a 3.8 percent increase (364 million units) and 10.9 percent (404 million units), respectively.

The ugly drop predicted for the second half of 2011 is due to excess inventory and economic problems in Western Europe as well as the U.S.’s still-struggling economy. Expectations for 2012’s numbers, which currently haven’t been lowered as dramatically (yet?), will be affected by 2011’s woes.

The stunning announcement that HP, the world’s largest PC maker, may spin off its PC business and the growing intrusion of tablets are affecting the PC market. In fact, it’s reasonable to assume that the two are related. Maybe HP is on to something.

"More worrisome for the long term is that Generation Y has an altogether different view of client devices than older generations and are not buying PCs as their first, or necessarily main, device," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, in the press release. "For older buyers, today's PCs are not a particularly compelling product, so they continue to extend lifetimes, as PC shops and IT departments repair rather than replace these systems."

That’s what we would call a double whammy--kids today don’t see PCs as important, and old fuddy-duddies don’t see the value in upgrading.

Really, though, it makes sense; the hardware requirements for a notebook that can do the vast majority of computing tasks aren’t especially robust. In most cases, a two-, three, or even four-year-old notebook can handle it all just fine, and adding services such as cloud storage is a great way to add functionality and longevity to a notebook with decent specs.

Further, many younger consumers and business types find that a smartphone or tablet meets the majority of their day-to-day computing needs, such as email, Web browsing, social media, phone calls, audio and video streaming, and even video conferencing.

The PC isn’t going away any time soon. After all, Gartner merely lowered its predicted growth rate; it didn’t indicate a shrinking market. However, the findings are noteworthy and indicate that the PC landscape is changing.
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Although you clarify in the very end of the article, the basis of the article is slightly misleading.

PCs have been mainstream for over 15 years.

What would be the projected growth rate for microwave ovens 15 years later?

PCs are a commodity now. Everyone absolutely needs one and they likely have several in their house/enterprise.

Its simply not a growth market anymore.

Just because other newer markets like smartphones and tablets have emerged does not eliminate this market.

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Well... It is said that PC's are still essential but we do have to factor in the fact that much of these tablets and the smartphones can do the same things as these PC's. Granted I'm hoping that these cheap Pentium notebooks can at least stimulate the market but taking into consideration these factors and their widespread usage, a PC doesn't seem as useful anymore...

However, it's just a prediction. Who knows what'll happen next, maybe PC's will sell 3x more than before. I do think that HP's decision to get rid of their PC business may be influencing their predictions.

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I agree the landscape is shifting, tablets and smart phones have had an huge impact on desktop sales. Laptops were taking market share imo back before the i-phone and i-pad hit the market.

Bottom line people want mobility and the desktop is going to suffer the most as a result. I think the PC will be around but I am afraid it's best days are behind, as much as I don't like to admit it.

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While I will agree with you Thunderbird that people want mobility and the desktop is going to suffer. The desktop will never die at least not fully because as technology trickles down it almost always goes from enterprise servers --> desktops --> mobile. I personally need more power in general than a reasonably price laptop will provide and do not need the mobility to get my work done, I am also sure there are many others like me in the world.

@Taylor You are absolutely right it is just a prediction and only time will tell what is really going to happen.

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@omegadraco I also agree the desktop may never die but it's the soccer moms and business men and people on the go who prefer the mobility as opposed to raw power that a desktop can provide.

I myself love my desktop but more and more people are purchasing slates or kindles or mobile phones and the desktop is suffering and will continue to suffer.

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