PC Unit Sales Seen Off 6% in 2009

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 |  Includes: DELL, HPQ, MSFT
by: Eric Savitz

Worldwide PC shipments will drop 6% in 2009 to 274 million units, according to revised forecast from Gartner. That’s a smaller projected drop than than the 6.6% decline the research firm projected in mid-May, and the 9.2% decline that had been forecast in March. The firm sees declines of about 10% in both Q2 and Q3, but now expects positive year-over-year growth in Q4, with a 10.3% rise in 2010.

Gartner said PC unit growth was stronger than expected in Q1 in all market other than Eastern Europe; they believe that was in part due to vendor and channel restocking rather than an upsurge in demand.

The firm said “mini-notebooks,” or netbooks, are on track to hit 21 million units this year and 30 million in 2010. While Gartner sees a 4.1% increase in mobile PC units this year, revenue from those sales is expected to drop 12.8% as average prices decline “at an unprecedented rate.” Desktop units are expected to drop 15.7%, resulting in a 26.6% decline in spending.

As for Windows 7, Gartner expects only a a modest impact from the introduction of the new Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) operating system software. “Unless Microsoft mounts a major marketing campaign in support of Windows 7, we think consumers will simply adopt the new operating system as they would normally buy new PCs and/or replace old ones,” analyst George Shiffler said in a statement. “As for professional users, we still expect them to put off adopting the new OS for at least a year until they have fully tested their applications against it.”

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