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Analysts Forecast Challenging 2011 For PC Sales

IDC and Gartner, two of the most respected analyst firms in the UK, are expecting 2011 to be a tough one for traditional PC makers like HP, Dell, Acer and Toshiba.

Both firms noted that consumers are choosing to postpone upgrades and are instead buying devices like tablet PCs and games consoles. Consumers also appear to be avoiding big purchases as they have less disposable income than last year.

The fact that a whole new collection of tablet devices are set to flood the market, and a number of big announcements are expected in the gaming market (Nintendo 3DS and Sony Ericsson PSP phone), means that the low spending trend is likely to continue until at least the end of 2011.

To make matters worse for traditional PC manufacturers, 2011 is expected to be the year that the likes of Motorola and Apple start cannibalising the computer markets as more powerful devices are released, such as the Motorola Atrix 4G (with its laptop docking station).

Other companies like Samsung, LG mobile and HTC are likely to follow suit - especially after Windows announced its support for the ARM platform.

The fact that Acer sales dropped by 30 per cent in 2010 show that the current consumer market is incredibly fragile. Instead, it seems that PC makers are seeking solace in the resurging business computer market, where the arrival of Windows 7 and Office 2010 has encouraged enterprises to kickstart their hardware upgrade cycles.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.