Growth in PC shipments is set to slow down this year, according to the latest figures from Gartner.
The analyst firm estimates that shipments will increase by 10.7 per cent to 234.5 million units, down from last year's 15.5 per cent.
"We expect a steady decline in desk-based replacement activity over the next year," Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's client platforms research, said in a statement.
"The impact will be especially dramatic in mature markets where new desk-based penetration is also slowing and mobile-for-desk-based substitution is increasing."
Mobile computer sales will remain healthy, at a projected unit sales growth of 31.4 per cent in 2006.
But Gartner warned that the PC industry is at a turning point, and that the desktop segment will see a sharp decline in demand.
The first signs are starting to occur this year, with projected growth of only 1.9 per cent. Emerging markets will drive growth, while shipments in mature markets will decline by 8.6 per cent.
The release of Windows Vista later this year could have an additional negative impact on the PC market, according to Gartner, as consumers typically delay buying new systems in anticipation of major software releases.
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