Gartner has predicted that PC shipments in 2011 will grow by 15.9 per cent year-on-year to 409 million units.
However, the figures have been downgraded from earlier predictions of 18.1 per cent growth for the market. Gartner cites growing competition from the tablet market – particularly the iPad – for the reduced forecast and said that the segment could take a growing chunk of the IT market in years to come.
“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,” said Gartner’s research director, Ranjit Atwal. “Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 percent of PC units by 2014.”
Gartner also warned that new devices would likely be the driving force in the IT market, which has previously been driven by traditional price-based business models.
“PCs are still seen as necessities, but the PC industry's inability to significantly innovate and its overreliance on a business model predicated on driving volume through price declines are finally impacting the industry's ability to induce new replacement cycles,” said Gartner’s research director, George Shiffler.
“As the PC market slows, vendors that differentiate themselves through services and technology innovation rather than unit volume and price will dictate the future.”