Gartner Lowers PC Shipments Forecast - InformationWeek

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Gartner Lowers PC Shipments Forecast

The market-research firm says they'll be lower than its predicted in the second quarter, but should still post solid growth.

Worldwide PC shipments for the year are lower than expected, but are still forecast to remain strong, market-research firm Gartner said Monday.

Global shipments for 2004 now are expected to increase by 12.6% over last year to 185 million units, based on a preliminary third-quarter forecast from Gartner, which had predicted in the second quarter a 13.4% increase.

The reason for the adjustment was a weaker-than-expected second quarter, Gartner analyst Kiyomi Yamada said. Preliminary figures showed a year-to-year 13% increase in PC shipments in the quarter, as opposed to an expected 14.1%. Contributing to the lower numbers in the second quarter were weaker sales in the consumer market, which didn't have the stimulus of last year's federal tax cuts, Yamada said.

While acknowledging that higher oil prices could cut consumer confidence and affect PC sales, Yamada still believes the PC market will achieve double-digit growth. "We are still confident that the market will be good for the year," Yamada said.

Businesses are expected to be a major driver for PC sales this year, Gartner said. Many companies are sitting on older PCs that are expected to be replaced, barring a significant downturn in the U.S. economy.

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