PC market is set to grow 20 per cent in 2010

Mini-notebooks to face challenges from ULV notebooks and tablets

The PC market is predicted to grow 20 per cent in 2010 according to IT research company Gartner, with mobile technology leading the growth.

Mobile PCs are forecast to drive 90 per cent of PC growth over the coming three years, according to Gartner research director, George Shiffler.

"The PC industry will be overwhelmingly driven by mobile PCs, thanks to strong home growth in both emerging and mature markets," said Shiffler in a statement.

"In 2009, mobile PCs accounted for 55 per cent of all PC shipments; by 2012, we expect mobile PCs to account for nearly 70 per cent of shipments."

Gartner believes mini-notebooks will again help boost mobile PC growth in 2010. However they will face challenges from new ultra-low-voltage (ULV) ultraportables.

“Apple's iPad is just one of many new devices coming to market that will change the entire PC ecosystem and overlap it with the mobile phone industry. This will create significantly more opportunities for PC vendors as well as significantly more threats," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner.

Gartner has predicted that sales of touch-screen mobile devices, like the iPad, will grow 97 per cent in 2010, surpassing 362.7 million units, almost doubling 2009’s 184.3 million units.

Consumers in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region are currently expected to lead the adoption of touch-screen mobile devices, with sales expected to surpass 129.1 million units in 2010, accounting for 35.6 per cent of the global market.

"Opportunities and risks for the PC market certainly seem tilted toward the upside now," says Atwal.

Though Gartner maintains a positive forecast for the PC market, it is still open to shifts in consumer trends. "New challenges are arising that will extend the PC ecosystem, increasing choice and competition. Ultimately, it will be the consumer who decides just how far that ecosystem extends and at what rate the PC industry grows," said Atwal.

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