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Gartner has added media tablets, such as Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, to its computing hardware spending estimates beginning this quarter. The inclusion of media tablets increase worldwide IT spending by about $30 billion to total of whopping $3.6 trillion this year, according to the leading market research firm.

Worldwide IT spending is forecast to total $3.6 trillion in 2011, a 5.6% increase from $3.4 trillion in 2010, according to the latest outlook by Gartner, which slightly raised its outlook for 2011 from its previous forecast of 5.1% growth. Including media tablets has increased Gartner’s computing hardware growth outlook from 7.5% to 9.5% for 2011. Worldwide media tablet spending is projected to reach $29.4 billion in 2011, up from $9.6 billion in 2010. Global spending on media tablets is forecast to increase at an annual average rate of 52% through 2015.

"The addition of media tablets, reinforced by an expected additional decline in the value of the dollar, accounts for the increase in top-line growth. Absent the addition of media tablets, the forecast would have slightly declined in constant-dollar terms; however, with their addition, there's virtually no change in underlying forecast growth at the level of overall IT,” said Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner.

Gartner analysts said this stable forecast outlook comes despite political unrest in the Middle East, while the impact on IT markets of the recent natural disasters in Japan is yet to be fully understood.

“The Middle East share of global IT spending is approximately 2%. While the political unrest affecting many countries in the region may well dent IT spending levels, any impact would be insignificant at the global level. We had largely completed our forecast by the time the recent natural disasters in Japan occurred, and we are still evaluating their likely impact on our forecast. On this point, we are looking at two potential effects on IT markets as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan: consequences of disruptions in the global electronics supply chain and impacts on IT demand,” Mr. Gordon said.

Tags: Gartner, iPad, TouchPad, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy, Streak, Blackberry, PlayBook, Eee

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