Gartner Projects 22 Percent PC Market Growth For 2010

"PC demand in the consumer segment continues to strengthen even though the global economy remains uncertain. Consumers are now viewing PCs as necessities rather than luxury items," said Ranjit Atwal, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement accompanying the report.

"In the downturn, PCs remained the electronic device of choice on which to spend household income in mature markets, and we do not expect this to change either in 2010 or beyond."

Worldwide PC spending will grow 12 percent year-over-year, with Gartner predicting that $254.4 billion will be spent on client computers in 2010. Consumer PC growth, predicted to reach 29.5 percent this year, will continue to outpace the more slowly recovering commercial PC market, which will grow at a 13.1 percent clip, according to the research firm.

Gartner also thinks the growth of the market for mini-notebooks, also known as netbooks, is “showing signs of slowing as the sub-market for them matures.”

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“Worldwide mini-notebook shipments are preliminarily forecast to total 41.8 million units in 2010, a 30 percent increase from 2009 shipments of 32.1 million units. Mini-notebooks will account for 18.6 percent of mobile PC shipments in 2010, but their share will steadily decline after this year, falling to 13.9 percent of the mobile PC market in 2014,” the Gartner report stated.

Meanwhile, Gartner was bullish on the growth of what it calls “media tablets” like Apple’s iPad with restricted-function operating systems, as distinguished from tablet PCs with a full-function OS.

The research firm said its “most likely scenario” for 2010 would see the shipment of 10 million media tablets, while predicting that just 2 million tablet PCs will ship this year.