Global PC Sales To Be Lifted By Laptops

Worldwide sales of personal computers are expected to grow 10.2% this year, helped by strong demand for mobile or laptop PCs, according to Gartner Inc. The research firm predicted sales of 202.1 million units with mobile PC shipments expected to grow 26.5% in 2005, and desktops forecast to increase 4.6%.

"Mobile PCs are continuing to attract more new users as mobile prices fall and wireless becomes more pervasive," said George Shiffler, a Gartner analyst. "Growing numbers of users are replacing their old desktops with more portable mobiles, and this is one of several factors helping to boost mobile PC growth."

Gartner analysts said other technology, such as the so-called "dual core" processors aimed at improving computing power, will have little impact on sales.

While replacement activity has helped drive double-digit PC growth over the last two years, it will begin to wane this year. "Professional replacement activity is in the process of peaking and will fade rapidly over the rest of the year," Shiffler said. "Meanwhile, home replacement activity is expected to peak early next year and fade more gradually over 2006. This one-two punch will push market growth back into single digits by next year despite stronger mobile PC growth."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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