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Tim Cook's post-PC iPad domination dream crushed by reality

Gartner reckons 400 million desktops will shift in 2013

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Despite Tim Cook's declaration that we live in a post-PC world as he presented the new iPad to the world, analysts at Gartner forecast that demand for PCs will accelerate in the next two years.

Apple CEO Cook dreams of a world in which fondleslabs not only outsell PCs but render them irrelevant. These stats suggest otherwise.

Gartner Research Director Ranjit Atwal predicts that 368 million PC units will be sold in 2012, an increase of 4.4 per cent from 2011. By his calculations, the market will grow to 400 million units in 2013.

Apple flogged 40.57 million iPads in the year ending 31 December 2011, according to its quarterly reports. The slabs have eaten into the PC market, Cook boasted last night and claimed Apple sold more iPads in the last three months of 2011 than any PC manufacturer sold of its computers.

Meanwhile the big driver for PC sales will be demand from the developing world, Atwal said: "Emerging markets are key to driving worldwide PC growth in both the short and long-term." And that's growing very quickly.

Our expectation is that 2012 and then 2013 onwards will be supported by growth in emerging markets as their share increases from just over 50 percent in 2011 to nearly 70 percent in 2016. Emerging markets have very low PC penetration and even with the availability of other devices we still expect a steady uptake of PCs.

Fondleslab-pushing Apple execs aside, other PC doomsayers include Ray Ozzie, inventor of Lotus Notes and the guy chosen by Bill Gates to lead innovation in Microsoft – which just released its tablet-friendly Windows 8 preview. He seemed to be singing off the same hymn sheet as Cook, telling a Geekwire conference yesterday:

People argue about "are we in a post-PC world?" Why are we arguing? Of course we are in a post-PC world. That doesn't mean the PC dies, that just means that the scenarios that we use them in, we stop referring to them as PCs, we refer to them as other things.

But whatever we call them looks like several hundred million of them will be sold in the next two years. ®

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