Tablets, e-readers, netbooks, smartphones … who needs them? It would seem that the world’s love affair with actual computers isn’t going to be dying off any time soon.
According to a new report from Gartner, sales of personal computers is going to rise by 22 percent this year to 376.6 million units compared to the 308.3 million units shipped in 2009. A lot of this can be chalked up to dropping prices because the sales forecast for this year is projected at $245.4 billion, up 12 percent from 2009.
Despite the current economic situation of the world, the majority of the growth is coming from the private sector: The home PC market is projected to increase by 29.5 percent this year, while the professional market will grow by a slower 13.1 percent.
“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 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.”
It is not just desktops and laptops that are enjoying this growth. Despite a lot of evidence pointing to tablets eating into the netbook market, the mini-computers are still projected to sell 30 percent more units this year than last year.
Due to the infancy of the tablet market it is difficult to determine how they will impact all the other sectors, but it is expected in 2011 we will see a more significant cut into netbooks from this product category.
While I think that things like netbooks and iPads are nice for certain situations, both types of items I have in my home, most people still prefer sitting down to something with a full keyboard. Notebooks and tablets are nice for awkward situations, but when you’re in the home or an office, you typically want something with a bit more power, a larger screen and more fully featured.
Sure sales of desktops and laptops may slow some over the coming years, but it’s difficult to imagine them disappearing for good for a very, very long time.
What say you? What sort of items do you prefer to work with these days?