IDC Halves PC Shipment Forecast For 2011, Expects Rebound In 2012

IDC slashed its worldwide PC shipment growth forecast today to about half of its original prediction, as consumer demand for personal computers remains weak in mature markets. Initially, the analysis firm projected 7.1 percent yearly growth in February, but halved that forecast to just 4.2 percent growth after a weak first quarter.

“The PC market has definitely hit a slow patch,” said Loren Loverde, VP for worldwide consumer device trackers at IDC. According to the analysis house, low-cost notebooks and netbooks could only sustain strong sales throughout 2009, until the recession led to falling house prices, rising unemployment, and ridiculous energy and food bills. Since then, discretionary spending has hurt the PC business, just about as much as the boom of tablets, smartphones and ereaders.

Things should remain slow throughout the year, according to IDC, but by 2012, next-gen chips and new operating systems coupled with discounted prices should put things on the up-and-up. “The long-term growth drivers – first among which are growth in emerging markets, declining prices, and growing functionality – remain intact, and the product and design innovations underway will keep PC growht healthy in the long term,” said Loverde.

[via The Register]