Gartner Lowers PC Shipment Forecast Ahead of Windows 8

Three months ago, Gartner was predicting that worldwide PC shipments would reach 368 million units by the end of the year (not including tablet PCs), and more than 400 million in 2013. That projection worked out to a 4.4 percent growth rate in 2012. And now?

According to GeekWire, Gartner is lowering its projected growth rate to just 0.9 percent for the year, a downward adjustment of 3.5 percent. Gartner hasn't made its new projection public yet, but GeekWire claims that a Wall Street analyst has seen the new numbers and posted them in a note to investors over the weekend.

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It's unclear what the reasons are for lowering the PC shipment forecast, and what's even more odd is that in 2013, Gartner is reportedly projecting an 11.1 percent growth rate, down just slightly from its previous 11.1 percent projection. So in other words, shipments are going to stall ahead of Microsoft's Windows 8 launch, but return back to about where Gartner had forecast them to be in the first place.

Either way you shake it, the thing to focus on is that the PC market is still growing, whether it's by 0.9 percent or 4.4 percent, or any other positive number.