Gartner Cuts Forecast for Global PC Unit Sales in 2011

Global personal-computer shipments will increase less than previously predicted this year and next as consumers curb spending, research firm Gartner Inc. (IT) said.

Shipments will rise 3.8 percent to 364 million units in 2011, compared with an earlier projection of 9.3 percent, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said today on its website. Shipments will probably increase 10.9 percent in 2012, compared with an earlier forecast of 12.8 percent, Gartner said.

“An increasing pessimistic economic outlook is causing both consumer and business sentiment to deteriorate” in the U.S. and Western Europe, Ranjit Atwal, a research director at Gartner, said in the statement.

Younger consumers aren’t buying PCs as their first or main device, Atwal said. Tablets and mobile devices have cut into PC demand, and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ)’s possible sale or spinoff of its PC division shows the traditional business models are failing, said George Shiffler, also a research director at Gartner.

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