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Consumers shun PCs for gizmos

Business drives market growth

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Global PC shipments will hit an estimated total of 51.9 million in Q4 2004, a 10.1 per cent increase from the same period last year. Strong sales to business are offsetting weak consumer demand to produce a positive outlook for the market, according to analysts Gartner. It reckons increased competition from digital entertainment products is hitting sales into the home.

"Aside from mobility, there is conspicuous lack of 'must have' new features for home PC users, and this is noticeably impacting home sales, especially replacements purchases," said George Shiffler, principal analyst for Gartner’s client platforms research. Gartner reckons more and more homes are splashing out on flat panel TVs and similar gizmos rather than PCs.

The quiet consumer market in pulling Gartner's projected sales down a notch. The analyst reckons worldwide PC shipments will hit 182.7m this year, still up 11.4 per cent from last year but less than the 13 per cent growth previously predicted. Looking further ahead, Gartner expects the market to grow by 9.6 per cent next year, with weak consumer sales continuing to pull back overall growth. More information is available in the Gartner Alert 4Q04 Update: Global PC Forecast Scenarios, 2004-2005 here. ®

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