SAN FRANCISCONotebook computers will outsell desktops for the first year ever in 2009 as overall PC unit shipments decline for the first time since 2001, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
Global PC shipments are expected to decline to 287.3 million units in 2009, down 4 percent from 2008, the first year-to-year contraction for PC shipments since the Dot Com bubble burst, according to a revised forecast by iSuppli.
ISuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) attributed the predicted contraction to a a combination of falling IT spending and plunging sales of desktop computers. The firm had previously forecast that PC shipments would rise 0.7 percent this year.
"An annual decline in unit shipments is highly unusual in the PC market," said Matthew Wilkins, iSuppli's principal analyst for compute platforms, in a statement. "Even in weak years, PC unit shipments typically rise by single-digit percentages."
In 2001 the PC market contracted by 5.1 percent due to the collapse of what had been overinflated IT spending attributed the Dot Com bubble, Wilkins said.
ISuppli predicts that shipments of desktop PCs will decline to 124.4 million in 2009, down 18 percent from 151.9 million units in 2008. Entry-level serverswhich iSuppli includes in its definition of PCsalso will suffer a decline, with shipments falling to 6.9 million units, down 9.5 percent from 7.7 million in 2008, the firm said.
Notebook PC shipments in 2009 will rise by 11.7 percent to reach 155.97 million units, up from 139.6 million in 2008, iSuppli said
"Mobility is winning out in the PC market," Wilkins said. "Businesses and consumers continue to embrace notebooks PCs because of the benefits of mobility and the near-equal performance and feature set. This is cutting into desktop PC shipments."