Gartner cuts PC sales forecasts

Research firm Gartner has cut its 2010 and 2011 PC sales forecasts, as sales of iPads and other tablets cut into the market.
The firm has trimmed 2010 sales growth predictions from 17.9% to 14.3%, and 2011 forecasts from 18.1% to 15.9%, and tips tablets to displace 10% of PC sales by 2014.
It now forecasts total sales of 352.4 million units in 2010, and 409 million in 2011.
“These results reflect marked reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest in media tablets such as the iPad,” research director Ranjit Atwal said.
Research analyst Raphael Vasquez said users would increasingly embrace tablets and next-gen smartphones “as complements if not substitutes for PCs where voice and light data consumption are desired.
“It is likely that desk-based PCs will be adversely impacted over the long-term by the adoption of hosted virtual desktops, which can readily use other devices like thin clients,” he said.
Gartner said consumers and businesses would hold off buying PCs in the near-term “as they collectively rebuild their finances” in the face of slower income growth and a cloudy economic outlook.
Emerging markets would account for more than 50% of PC sales in 2011, it added.