Perhaps the drop in Apple's share of the computer market from 9.93% to 9.71% is an early manifestation of the difficult scenario for the global PC market in 2009, predicted by Gartner.
For the consultancy, the personal computer industry will experience its biggest decline in sales during the course of this year and expects 257 million PC units to be sold between desktops, laptops and netbooks, which would represent an 11.9% retraction in comparison direct with sales in 2008. Previously, the worst decline faced by the sector occurred in 2001, when sales decreased 3.2% compared to the previous year.
George Shiffler, director of research at Gartner, said on Monday (2/3) that ?the industry is facing unusual conditions as the global economy continues to weaken, users prolong the life of their computers and manufacturers become increasingly cautious ?. For him, the retraction should affect both emerging and developed markets, warned the consultancy. In isolation, the fall should be around 10.4% and 13%, respectively.
If the sale of desktop computers is expected to decline more than 30% in relation to 2008, the sale of laptops will reach the mark of 155.6 million units, an increase of 9% compared to last year. According to Gartner, growth will be ?substantially driven? by netbooks – the saviors of the homeland – and the like. Without them, the increase in sales in the portable computers category would hardly exceed the 2.7% mark.
"Developed markets remain the primary netbook consumer, but as prices continue to fall, they are expected to attract an increasing number of buyers in emerging countries," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner.
The pre-apocalyptic scenario is completed with Gartner's own forecast, in which the semiconductor market should show a 24% decline in revenue this year in 2009, compared to 2008, compared to the previous forecast – more optimistic – of a drop of ?only? 16%.
It will take a lot of flexibility and creativity on the part of everyone involved for things to return to normal in the medium term. I hope it will be quick.