Analysts: PC growth will slow, while notebooks remain a bright spot

Worldwide PC growth will slow to a veritable snail's pace in 2009, according to newly revised numbers from analyst group IDC. But still, the revamped forecast for notebook PCs isn't exactly (or entirely) bleak.

In response to changes in the global economy, IDC has lowered its projections for worldwide PC growth over the next few years. Although shipments of portable PCs will step up 13.8% in 2009 to 145.9 million notebooks, overall PC shipment growth will slow to only 3.8%, with overall shipment value falling by 5.5%, according to the analyst firm.

Also for the PC market as a whole, IDC has reduced its growth outlook by a couple of percentage points for both the 2008 full year and for 2010, to 12.4% and 10.9%, respectively.

Low-cost mini-notebooks will help to buttress overall PC sales volume, acknowledged Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, in this morning's statement, adding that portables will also "pressure margins and revenues."

In the US market, overall PC shipments are now expected to fall from 69.1 million in 2008 to 67.1 million in 2009. Desktop and x86 server shipments will drop from 34.4 million to 30.1 million, but portable PC shipments will rise from 34.7 million to 37.0 million, according to IDC, one of many analyst groups which has long viewed notebooks as the biggest bright spot in the US PC market, anyway.

Also as IDC sees it, emerging markets in Latin America, Central Europe, the Middle East and Asia will be among the most significantly impacted by the current economic crisis, with growth across all PC categories now lowered to 9% for 2009.

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