Gartner: PC sales to drop despite Windows 7

Research firm Gartner have published their predictions for PC sales for 2009, predicting that worldwide sales will fall by 6% from 2008 levels. The sales of netbooks, however, are set to rise.

Gartner forecast that 274 million computers will be sold this year, down from 292 million units last year. This is actually higher than the 257 million units they predicted earlier this year due to growth that is expected in the fourth quarter of 2009. This growth is set to then set continue into 2010 with a growth of 10.3% currently projected.

21 million netbooks are expected to have been shipped this year and 30 million are predicted for next year. The report also says that there is increasing competition between netbooks and "low-end mainstream mobile PCs" - which include Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Kindle according to The Microsoft Blog. Mobile computers are themselves set for a 4.1% increase in sales from last year to 149 millions units, but overall spending on them is set to decrease by 12.8% as they become cheaper.

Desktop PCs sales are predicted to fall by 15.7% from last year to 125 million, with spending on them declining by 26.6%. George Shiffler, research director at Gartner, commented: "Both mobile-PC and desk-based PC units are being held back by users extending PC lifetimes and delaying replacements in response to the ongoing economic slowdown. The good news for the industry is that delayed replacements won't be lost replacements. Our research indicates replacements should grow strongly in 2010 and 2011, helping to power the market's recovery."

Gartner's analysts also predicted that the release of Windows 7 in October of this year is unlikely to cause a large upturn in PC sales. "Although the buzz surrounding Windows 7 has generally been quite positive, we don't expect the market to significantly deviate from its normal seasonal trends in reaction to its release," Mr Shiffler said. "Unless Microsoft mounts a major marketing campaign in support of Windows 7, we think consumers will simply adopt the new operating system (OS) as they would normally buy new PCs and/or replace old ones." In regards to business users, he added: "we still expect them to put off adopting the new OS for at least a year until they have fully tested their applications against it."

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19 Comments

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I wish I could be wrong in my predictions as many times as Gartner has over the years and still be around to make more of them. A year from now all we'll hear from them is how much the market is growing because of Windows 7.

The motherboard (i think) of my PC stopped working , so i evaluated to buy a brand new pc instead to fix the old one. For price, to fix the pc cost me around $400 (changing almost every single part), instead to buy a new pc cost me over $600.

:-/

Well of course sales are dropping duh. Windows 7 comes out later this year. (rolling eyes) Shouldn't this just read pc sales drop despite Vista.

My prediction, Netbook sales will slump, bigtime. The market is already flooded with overpriced overhyped Netbooks.

I'd be willing to bet a huge majority of them get returned to the store. Meanwhile people realize they need more power and buy a REAL laptop instead, or a desktop. My 5 year old notebook is far faster than any Netbook.

Of course if this was Apple, then all they would be all over promoting how much overpriced Apple sales would increase.

All these "predictions" by these companies are just some guy sitting in an office, and his opinion about life. Its not like they actually know anything. Just like all the stupid stock "analysts" you see on CNBC who know nothing.

They are predicting 2009 sales? The year is half over tomorrow. And we are in a Great Recession. And Windows 7 doesn't go on sale until Oct 22. Wow!

No surprising prediction, and it's not even about Windows 7 IMHO.

It's that XP is good enough, and the market having stabilized a lot. You don't need new computers for faster CPU's as much as before, or to add USB support to connect new kinds of peripherals etc. Windows 7 is a lot about applying much needed polish to Vista, but even Vista wasn't very important even if disregarding its flaws.

My girlfriend just switched to Windows XP some year ago, from Windows 98... At work, we run by far mostly XP, some Vista, but have no plans at rolling out Windows 7 anytime soon. I dunno, I can do the essentials from word processing to video recording and playing movies on my TV on four year old systems nowadays. And they don't even feel very slow on XP. I think that's something that has changed since 10 years ago or so, when the PC market was moving much more. A lot of attention these days seem to have rather turned to adding mobile phone features.

who can really afford a new computer these days.. I believe over the last year alone I've worked on prob 30different older computers people would rather have cleaned up for 40$ or so and keep using than purchase a new one. Plus they are still using XP which they are used to... many older people do not want to change from XP and won't.

This is no surprise, and Windows 7 isn't going to help things right away anyway. Like java2beans said, people are going to buy a new computer when they really need one. As far as Windows 7 goes, "retail" copies could sell well (and they are so far. Number 1 on Amazon sales charts and already sold out in Japan) due the discounts and free upgrade coupons Microsoft is currently giving out.

The fact is that there's been little true innovation that requires tons of power - games are no longer the biggest driving factor since consoles have taken a big slice of the pie.

You know, they could very well do something like that in windows, and have it require tons of power and yet I bet everyone will bitch and moan that it's a "resorce hog" or "it bloated and it sucks!"

Windows 7 doesn't even factor in to average folks thought processes when it comes to whether or not they need a new PC. Most haven't even heard of it yet.

I think it will be a big hit, but it will take a year or more, unless the economic slump we're in pulls out sooner.

Yes, and people are just beginning to hear of it now. Microsoft will need to heavily market Windows 7 to help it sell (they're already starting to since I saw a small pamphlet for it at Best Buy, but that's it). I think the marketing will pick up closer to release day.

i've only bought one pc in my life but so far i've updated mine like 10 times, from how it looked when i bought and to how it looks now, its like a new computer.

That would make sense because new operating system has nothing to do with PC sales. People buy PC because they need a computer. Now, people might "upgrade" their PC because of new operating system.

java2beans said,
That would make sense because new operating system has nothing to do with PC sales. People buy PC because they need a computer. Now, people might "upgrade" their PC because of new operating system.

Since Win7 runs on older hardware better than Vista did, there wouldn't be much reason to update the hardware. There is also XP, Netbooks, and useless Intel GPUs that hold the PC market back from increasing hardware requirements. That's not exactly a bad thing (except for those Intel GPUs), but hardware OEMs are going to be short on justification for more powerful PCs.