Worldwide sales of personal computers are expected to grow 10.2 percent this year, helped by strong demand for mobile or laptop PCs, the research firm Gartner Inc predicted Thursday.
Gartner lifted its outlook from an earlier forecast of 9.9 percent growth. The outlook calls however for a deceleration in PC sales after growth estimated at 15 percent last year.
The research firm predicted sales of 202.1 million units with mobile PC shipments expected to grow 26.5 percent this year, and desktops forecast to increase 4.6 percent.
"Mobile PCs are continuing to attract more new users as mobile prices fall and wireless becomes more pervasive," said George Shiffler, a Gartner analyst.
"Growing numbers of users are replacing their old desktops with more portable mobiles, and this is one of several factors helping to boost mobile PC growth."
Gartner analysts said other technology, such as the so-called "dual core" processors aimed at improving computing power, will have little impact on sales.
They said replacement activity has helped drive double-digit PC growth over the last two years, but will begin to wane this year.
"Professional replacement activity is in the process of peaking and will fade rapidly over the rest of the year," Shiffler said. "Meanwhile, home replacement activity is expected to peak early next year and fade more gradually over 2006."
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