The PC industry will experience its sharpest unit decline in history, with PC shipments totaling 257 mln units in 2009, an 11.9% decline from 2008, according to Gartner. Previously, PC units experienced their worst decline in 2001 when unit shipments contracted 3.2%. Up to this point, emerging markets collectively recorded their lowest growth in 2002, 11.1%. Mature markets recorded their lowest growth in 2001, negative 7.9%. Both emerging and mature markets will handily surpass these previous lows in 2009, with emerging markets expected to post a decline of 10.4% and mature markets a decline of 13%.
Worldwide mobile PC shipments are expected to reach 155.6 mln units, a 9% increase from 2008. Desk-based PC shipments are forecast to total 101.4 mln units, a 31.9% decline from 2008. Mobile PC growth will be substantially boosted by continued growth in mini-notebook shipments; excluding mini-notebooks, other mobile PC shipments will grow just 2.7% in 2009. Worldwide mini-notebook shipments are forecast to total 21 mln units in 2009, up from 2008 shipments of 11.7 mln units. Mini-notebooks will cushion the overall PC market slowdown, but they remain too few to prevent the market’s steep decline. Mini-notebooks are forecast to represent just 8% of PC shipments in 2009.