Worldwide PC shipments are set to grow by 12.5pc in 2008 to reach 297 million units.
Gartner has revised its earlier prediction in March that shipments would grow by 10.9pc in 2008 on 264 million units shipped in 2007.
“Mobile PC shipments exceeded our expectations in the first quarter of 2008,” said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. “Mobile PCs continue to have strong momentum and the global economic environment is proving to be less punishing than we expected.
As a caveat, he declared: “Even so, it’s a bit premature to say PC shipments won’t be impacted by a weaker global economy, especially if oil and food prices continue to soar.”
The growth will be driven by notebook PCs, with better-value products spurring a Gartner forecast of 30.1pc in worldwide mobile PC shipments.
“While we are still evaluating the prospects for this new class of mobile PCs, we think mini-notebooks could add momentum to mobile PC growth if they are able to move beyond being mere novelties and establish a broad and distinct market for themselves,” said Shiffler. “Overall, mobile PCs continue to exhibit incredible momentum, especially in emerging markets, that shows few signs of significantly waning anytime soon.”
Emerging PC markets are tipped to grow 17.1pc in 2008, compared with 6.3pc for mature market shipments. Emerging market mobile PC growth is expected to outdistance mature market growth by an even greater margin — 39.4pc versus 19.1pc in 2008.
By Niall Byrne