TABLET AND SMARTPHONE sales are thought to be behind lower than expected growth in PC shipments, according to Gartner.
The IT market research firm is now expecting a 14.3 per cent increase in PC shipments in 2010 over 2009, down from a prediction it made in September that the year would see 17.9 per cent growth. Gartner views tablet and smartphone sales as reasons for that and the company expects tablets to grab 10 per cent of the PC market by 2014.
"PC market growth will be impacted by devices that enable better on-the-go content consumption such as media tablets and next-generation smartphones," said Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner, explaining why his company got its prediction wrong. "These devices will be increasingly embraced as complements if not substitutes for PCs where voice and light data consumption are desired."
Other less surprising factors behind the slower growth include Gartner's statement of the bleedin' obvious that people have less disposable income to spend with the recession and its suspicion that emerging markets are not opting for PCs and are buying tablets instead.
In the longer term Gartner has an even more dire prediction for PCs saying that tablets will have sufficient capability to displace PCs entirely. We're not confident that will happen soon, but reckon anything is possible.
But for now Gartner's findings have already been challenged. The theory that tablets are cannibalising PC sales already was rejected by Microsoft in late October, but then it would say that. µ
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