HELSINKI (Reuters) – Research firm Gartner slashed its growth forecast for the global PC market this year to 3.8 percent from 9.3 percent, citing slower economies in Western Europe and the United States, and a boom in media tablets.
The success of Apple’s iPad has dented consumer demand for personal computers, while the long-hoped for recovery in the corporate and government PC replacement cycle has been derailed by the U.S. and European debt crises and associated fallout.
Hewlett-Packard stunned markets in August when saying it may shed its PC business — the world’s largest after the $25 billion acquisition of Compaq in 2002 — as part of a wrenching series of moves away from the consumer market.
“Media tablets have changed the dynamic of the PC market and HP’s decision to rethink its PC strategy simply highlights the pressure that PC vendors are under to adapt or abandon the market,” said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner.
No. 2 PC vendor Acer Inc last month reported the first quarterly loss in its history, as it took charges to reorganize in a troubled first half, and said it would be impossible to break even for the full year.
“Vendors’ tried and true business models are failing as traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users continue to lengthen PC lifetimes. Vendors only seem to be failing as they look for quick fixes,” Shiffler said.
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