Gartner forecasts slowing PC market

PC growth looks set to ease in 2006 as desktop demand shrinks in mature economies, Gartner said Thursday.

Worldwide PC growth is expected to be 10.7 percent in 2006, as compared to growth of 15.5 percent in 2005. It won't be a good year for desktop shipments to the U.S. or Western Europe, with shipments of those PCs expected to decline 8.6 percent. Emerging markets should snap up desktops at a 19.5 percent clip, enough to ensure the overall category will expand slightly, but the conversion to mobile PCs is going to take its toll on desktops this year, Gartner analysts said in a press release.

Of course, Gartner said the same thing last year, and PC companies wound up having a decent year. Notebook growth has been credited with keeping the market afloat, and that strength is expected to continue in 2006 with overall notebook growth of 31.4 percent.

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