Recent claims that the PC era is over are not true and sales will continue to be strong over the next three to five years, according to researcher Gartner.
Kevin Knox, a senior analyst at Gartner, said this week: "The PC is not dead and we will continue to see strong growth - around 10 to 15 per cent over the next three to five years, which is pretty damn good. But growth will not come from places it did before. Government, education and geographies such as China are huge growth opportunities."
Speaking at Gartner's European Symposium/ITXpo in Cannes, Knox said both laptop and desktop computers will see good growth. "One in every four systems currently sold is a laptop. The biggest reason for this growth is because we are now seeing laptops on sale for $999 and this means people who couldn't previously afford to, such as students, are buying them."
Speed and memory will no longer be the key differentiators for customers buying PCs, said Knox. Physical size, direct relationships with manufacturers, security features and low prices will be most important.
"Currently, PC hardware and software is out of sync," said Knox, who added that 70 per cent of users do not need PCs based on processors that are any faster than 600Mhz to 650Mhz.
"From a technical perspective, for mainstream users the lifecycle is now longer than three years. Vendors are going to have to force replacement cycles in other areas to encourage people to refresh more frequently," he said.
Knox predicted that there would be a dramatic change in way PC vendors sell computers in the next few years.
"Aggregate vendors will appear. Two, three or four vendors will work together, not a merger or acquisition, but they will produce products together. Companies such as Acer in Latin America, Fujitsu in Europe, and Gateway in the US will work together on PCs with the same system image, and customers will be able to have a local relationship in each country."
Knox said in addition to the formation of aggregate vendors, there will be a further shakeout in the PC market. "By 2005 at least three of today's top 10 PC manufacturers will not compete in the market," he said.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago