updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed June 8, 2011
Gartner sees PC slowing in 2011 due to tablets
PC sales won't grow as much as expected for 2011 in the wake of tablets like the iPad, Gartner said on Wednesday. Originally expecting the field to grow by 10.5 percent, it lowered the mark to 9.3 percent and a total of 385 million computers. The analyst group blamed it chiefly on the collapse of netbooks following the iPad's release. Tablets like Apple's weren't necessarily replacing all notebooks, but they often led people to stall getting a new portable PC.
The move still meant that PCs were returning to a heavy dependence on corporate buyers upgrading their PCs. Windows 7 was finally encouraging the move from XP for many and would offset the tablet effect, but home buyers were noticeably less influential.
Research lead Ranjit Atwal warned that, regardless of the direct impact of the iPad and its kind, PCs no longer had the safety net they once did. They now had to compete against tablets, phones, set-top boxes and other devices as even the computers themselves were getting more specialized.
The effect of the iPad and other tablets has already been large and led Microsoft both to a rare decline in Windows revenue as well as a complete rethink of its tablet strategy after nearly a decade of trying to push pen-based interaction with a desktop interface. System builders that leaned too heavily on netbooks are now paying the price as well, with Acer bleeding share and refocusing its strategy on phones and tablets.