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Analyst firm Gartner recently said PC sales in 2005 would be higher compared to earlier estimation, which is a result of very strong sales of mobile computers. Furthermore, the firm sees some drivers, such as dual-core processors, that could stimulate PC sales this year.

PC Market to Grow 10.2%

Worldwide PC shipments are forecast to total 202.1 million units in 2005, a 10.2% increase from 2004, according to a preliminary forecast by Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts previously projected worldwide PC shipments would increase 9.9% and total 199 million units in 2005.

Worldwide mobile PC shipments are expected to grow 26.5% in 2005, while desk-based units are now forecast to grow 4.6%. Mobile PCs currently make up just under 30% of all PC shipments, according to Gartner.

“Mobile PCs are continuing to attract more new users as mobile prices fall and wireless becomes more pervasive… 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,” said George Shiffler, principal analyst for Gartner’s Client Platforms research.

Dual-Core Impact Not Expected to be Significant

Gartner analysts said they see few new technology drivers that could help stimulate PC sales in 2005.

“Dual-core processors will attract some attention, but they will mostly pique the interest of ‘techies’ and early adopters. Many applications that take full advantage of dual-core capabilities are still being developed and won't be available until next year at the earliest,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner’s Client Platforms research.

Replacement activity has helped drive double-digit PC growth over the last two years, but Gartner analysts said replacement activity 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,” Mr. 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.”

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