Global PC shipments will top 366 million units this year, according to a new forecast from Gartner.
The analyst is predicting a 19.7 per cent increase from 305.8 million units shipped in 2009, with global PC spending forecast to reach $245bn (£163bn) in 2010, an increase of 12.2 per cent from 2009.
This forecast is significantly more optimistic than the analysts’ December 2009 view, which predicted 13.3 per cent growth in shipments and 1.9 per cent growth in spending in 2010.
The easing of the economic crisis and the drive to mobile computing are driving demand.
According to Gartner, “The market will remain robust with unit growth continuing to increase strongly over the next few years as home PC demand accelerates and professional replacements rise in the recovery from the global recession.”
"The PC industry will be overwhelmingly driven by mobile PCs, thanks to strong home growth in both emerging and mature markets," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "
Mini-notebooks are again forecast to boost mobile PC growth in 2010, but their contribution is expected to decline noticeably afterwards, as they face growing competition from new ultra-low-voltage (ULV) ultraportables and next-generation tablets. Desk-based PC shipment growth will be minimal and limited to emerging markets."
Gartner reported that mobile PCs accounted for 55 per cent of all shipments in 2009 and it predicted that by 2012 they will account for nearly 70 per cent of shipments."
"User requirements are clearly segmenting, and the mini-notebook proved this point," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner. "Vendors can no longer afford to just think in terms of traditional PC form factors or architectures.
The development of applications delivered over the web means many users “no longer need a traditional PC running a resident general-purpose operating system and fast x86 CPU to satisfy their computing needs,” he added.