updated 11:00 am EDT, Tue March 25, 2008
Gartner on PC Rise in 2008
Worldwide shipments of computers will grow a healthy amount in 2008 but will largely be carried on the back of mobile computers in spite of a struggling economy, according to a new report by Gartner. The analyst group expects the number of PCs shipped to stores and users to grow by 10.9 percent over 2007, cresting at 293 million, and will primarily be driven by less expensive and more flexible portables.
As costs push down for these systems, many users are not only buying notebooks for the first time but are also more likely to be buying one as a replacement: as many 80 percent of PCs in the US are replacements for existing systems and will likely see more of these buying a notebook than in the past, according to research director George Shiffler.
Desktops are also due to see a resurgence starting in 2008 but will see a much less dramatic refresh than in the past due to the influence of notebooks, the analysts say.
However, Gartner also warns that the world economy, and particularly the US, could significantly damage the prospects for growth over the course of the year. Customers with smaller incomes are less likely to spend, while smaller profit margins at system builders may hurt their own ability to ship as many PCs as they would like. A longer-term financial crunch could reduce the growth in the PC business to a single-digit percentage.
Researchers nonetheless anticipate developing-world markets as potentially overcoming any sustained shortfall. These areas made up 60 percent of growth last year and will see more as a larger amount of the population becomes wealthy enough to afford computers.