China weakness hits PC sales

Gartner has slashed forecasts of 2011 PC sales growth 5%, amid fears of weak sales of mobile PCs in China.
The research firm now predicts sales will grow 10.5% to 387.8 million units in 2011 instead of the 15.9% increase originally anticipated, and cut its 2012 forecast to growth of 13.6% compared to 14.8% previously.
Demand for PCs is tipped to be low in the near-term, as the lower mobile unit sales in China collides with a general loss of consumer interest in the devices as the public turns to tablets.
"We expect growing consumer enthusiasm for mobile PC alternatives, such as the iPad and other media tablets, to dramatically slow home mobile PC sales, especially in mature markets," research director George Shiffler states.
Mobile PCs have been the driver of PC shipments for the past five years, with average annual growth of 40%.
However the lowered forecasts aren’t necessarily good news for tablet makers, with Gartner noting that many consumers are holding off buying any PCs until a raft of new tablets hit shelves.