Tablet boom prompts Gartner to cut PC market view

Research firm Gartner slashed its growth forecast for the
global PC market this year to 3.8 percent from 9.3 percent, citing slower
economies in Western Europe and the United States, and a boom in media tablets.

The success of Apple’s iPad has dented consumer demand
for personal computers, while the long-hoped for recovery in the corporate and
government PC replacement cycle has been derailed by the U.S. and European debt
crises and associated fallout.

“An increasingly pessimistic economic outlook is
causing consumer and business sentiment to deteriorate in both regions. U.S.
consumer PC shipments were much weaker than expected in the second quarter, and
indications are that back-to-school PC sales are disappointing,” said
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. 

Gartner said it expects consumer spending to tighten in
response, while business spending would also tighten but to a lesser degree.

The slowing, changing market has hit traditional leaders
of the PC market.

Hewlett-Packard stunned markets in August when saying it
may shed its PC business the world’s largest after the $25 billion acquisition
of Compaq in 2002 as part of a wrenching series of moves away from the consumer

“Media tablets have changed the dynamic of the PC
market and HP’s decision to rethink its PC strategy simply highlights the
pressure that PC vendors are under to adapt or abandon the market,” said
George Shiffler, research director at Gartner.

“Vendors’ tried and true business models are failing
as traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users
continue to lengthen PC lifetimes. Vendors only seem to be failing as they look
for quick fixes,” Shiffler added.

No. 2 PC vendor Acer last month reported the first
quarterly loss in its history, as it took charges to reorganize in a troubled
first half, and said it would be impossible to break even for the full year.

By Team
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