Gartner Raises PC Sales Forecast

The need for mobility in the home has prompted Gartner to increase its 2005 forecast for worldwide PC shipments.

The research firm originally forecast a 9.9 percent increase over last year, but now it says 2005 growth will be 10.2 percent, which translates into 202.1 million units.

Among the drivers for increased growth for PC shipments is replacement activity. Worldwide mobile PC shipments, said Gartner, are expected to grow 26.5 percent in 2005, while deskbased units are now forecast to grow 4.6 percent.

“Mobile PCs are continuing to attract more new users as mobile prices
fall and wireless becomes more pervasive,” said George Shiffler, principal
analyst for Gartner’s client platforms research in a statement.

“Growing
numbers of users are replacing their old desktops with more portable
mobiles, and this is one of several factors helping to boost mobile PC
growth.”

Gartner analysts said that home PC replacement activity will peak
early next year and then fade over the course of 2006. Professional
replacement activity is already in the process of peaking and is expected to
wane over the remainder of this year.

Dual-core processors will attract some attention but Gartner expects that
it will be limited to “techies” and early adopters, as there are few
applications currently that can take advantages of dual-core processing
capabilities.

The big driver is really mobile PC shipments that are now expected to grow
at a rapid 26.5 percent pace in 2005. Mobile shipments represent under 30
percent of all PC shipments, according to Gartner. Desktop PCs, in
comparison, will only grow a snails pace of 4.6 percent.

Gartner’s numbers are in contrast to statistics released earlier this
year from rival research firm IDC. In March
IDC lowered its estimates for 2005 from 10.1 percent growth to
9.7 percent.

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