Worldwide sales of personal computers are expected to grow nearly 20 percent this year over 2009, with laptops driving new sales, research group Gartner said on Thursday.
Gartner said it expected total PC sales of 366.1 million units in 2010, a 19.7 percent increase from the 305.8 million units shipped in 2009.
It said worldwide PC spending is forecast to reach 245 billion dollars this year, up 12.2 percent from 2009.
In December, Gartner forecast 13.3 percent growth in PC shipments in 2010 and 1.9 percent growth in spending.
Gartner said PC market growth in 2010 will be driven by sales of portable computers such as notebooks and netbooks.
"The PC industry will be overwhelmingly driven by mobile PCs, thanks to strong home growth in both emerging and mature markets," Gartner research director George Shiffler said in a statement. "Desk-based PC shipment growth will be minimal and limited to emerging markets."
"We expect mobile PCs to drive 90 percent of PC growth over the next three years," Shiffler said. "In 2009, mobile PCs accounted for 55 percent of all PC shipments; by 2012, we expect mobile PCs to account for nearly 70 percent of shipments."
Gartner principal analyst Ranjit Atwal said the upcoming Apple iPad tablet computer "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."
Gartner said it expected 10.5 million traditional tablets and next-generation tablet devices to be shipped worldwide in 2010.
Gartner also released a forecast Thursday for sales of touchscreen mobile devices, predicting sales will grow 97 percent this year over last year and will represent 27.4 percent of all mobile phone sales in 2010.
Gartner said it expected sales of touchscreen mobile devices of more than 362.7 million units in 2010, up 96.8 percent from last year.
By 2013, touchscreen mobile devices will account for 58 percent of all mobile device sales worldwide and more than 80 percent in developed markets such as North America and Western Europe, Gartner said.
"Touchscreens are no longer the preserve of high-end devices and are now being included in many midrange phones as more companies have been driving the consumer market for affordable touchscreen phones," Gartner principal research analyst Roberta Cozza said.
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