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Gartner cuts worldwide PC shipment forecast for 2011

The PC market is not expected to grow as much as previously expected in 2011, according to new info from tech analyst firm Gartner.

In a press release today, Gartner predicted that worldwide PC shipments will reach 364 million units this year, a 3.8 percent increase compared to PC shipments in 2010. However, that number is lower than what Gartner previously predicted for the year. It originally thought that shipments for 2011 will be 9.3 percent higher than 2010. Gartner has also cut its forecasts for PC shipments in 2012 and now says that PC shipments will reach 404 million units next year, a 10.9 percent increase from 2011. Gartner previously predicted a 12.8 percent growth number for 2012.

Part of the reason for Gartner's PC shipment reduction is the current economic situation in both the US and in Western Europe. Gartner's Ranjit Atwal said, "An increasing pessimistic economic outlook is causing both consumer and business sentiment to deteriorate in both regions. We're expecting consumer spending to tighten in response."

Gartner also put part of the blame on the rise of mobile devices that are being purchased by younger customers. Atwal said, " ... Generation Y has an altogether different view of client devices than older generations and are not buying PCs as their first, or necessarily main, device." He added, "Vendors' tried and true business models are failing as traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users continue to lengthen PC lifetimes. Vendors only seem to be flailing as they look for quick fixes to their problems."

If Gartner's predictions are proven true that means that Microsoft could sell less copies of its current Windows 7 operating system than it originally planned. It could also impact Intel which remains the biggest provider of PC processor chips.

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