Worldwide PC sales will fall at their sharpest rate in the history of the channel this year, according the latest figures from Gartner.
According to the research firm, a total of 257m units will be shipped during 2009, a decline of 11.9 per cent compared to last year. The biggest fall in the history of the channel was in 2001, when shipments fell by 3.2 per cent in 2001.
"The PC industry is facing extraordinary conditions as the global economy continues to weaken, users stretch PC lifetimes and PC suppliers grow increasingly cautious," commented Gartner research director George Shiffler.
Much of the collapse in demand is expected to come from a drop in PC renewals, which account for around 80 per cent of new sales in western nations.
“Slowing GDP growth will generally weaken demand and slow new penetration, lengthening PC lifetimes will reduce replacements, and supplier caution will keep inventories low until confidence in a recovery eventually firms,” added Shiffler.