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Market watcher Gartner has reduced its forecast for the degree of growth it expects the global PC market to experience this year - largely thanks to a slowdown in consumer spending.

PC shipments will grow 9.3 per cent this year, Gartner now reckons, not 10.5 per cent.

That's 4m fewer machines: 385m shipping rather than 389m.

Consumer mobile PCs are no longer driving growth, it said, because of "sharply declining consumer interest" in netbooks.

"Mini-notebook shipments have noticeably contracted over the last several quarters, and this has substantially reduced overall mobile PC unit growth," said Ranjit Atwal, a Gartner research director.

Tablets are partly to blame: punters are buying them not instead of netbooks and notebooks, but fondleslab purchases are slowing the already slow consumer upgrade cycle.

But if they're not replacing kit as quickly as they might have done, businesses are, after an upgrade cycle slowdown of their own, induced by the recession. ®

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