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PC growth forecast dimmed amid credit crunch

Posted: 24 Nov 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC sales  credit crunch  PC shipments  forecasts 

Earlier this year, market researchers pointed to the relative strength of PC sales amid the degrading macroeconomic environment as a reason for optimism. Now, analysts from iSuppli Corp. and Gartner Inc. are lowering their PC unit growth forecasts for 2009 saying the credit crunch and financial uncertainty are taking their toll.

iSuppli Corp. cut its forecast for 2009 PC shipment growth by nearly two-thirds Thursday (Nov. 20), citing rapidly deteriorating conditions in the global economy and financial system.

The firm now expects PC shipments to rise by 4.3 per cent in 2009, down from a projection of 11.9 per cent delivered earlier this year.

The new forecast for 2010 calls for a 7.1 per cent growth in unit shipments, down from the previous outlook of a 9.4 per cent expansion, iSuppli said.

(Click to view full image)

"Since iSuppli published its last worldwide PC forecast, the landscape of the global economy has changed dramatically, and in many ways irrevocably," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms, for iSuppli, in a statement.

Desktop PCs will suffer a shipment decline of about 5 per cent in 2009, while notebook PCs will grow about 15 per cent, according to iSuppli's revised forecast.

Gartner is now forecasting 2009 PC unit growth of 5.5 per cent, down from its earlier projection of 13 per cent. But the firm concedes there is wiggle room given the environment.

George Shiffler, Gartner's lead PC forecast analyst, said there is a lot of variance attached the 5.5 per cent number based on economic conditions. The actual result, he said, could be anywhere from down 2 per cent to up 10 per cent for 2009.

"If I were betting I bet we could end up south of that 5.5 of that number as opposed to above it," Shiffler said. "But there's a chance we could go above."

Shiffler said PC unit growth for 2009 is dependent on how the global economic slowdown plays out.

Earlier this year market researchers had pointed to the relative strength of PC and general information technology markets as a ray of hope for a semiconductor industry that was increasingly being challenged by macroeconomic conditions.

Last month, Gartner said worldwide PC shipments reached 8.06 crore units in the third quarter of 2008, a 15 per cent increase from the third quarter last year.

But Wilkins said the collapse of established banking institutions over the past several weeks has impacted the availability of credit and interest rates, forcing large corporations, small businesses and consumers to cut back.

"With less money to spend, application markets, like PCs, have been impacted," Wilkins said.

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