PC makers, jilted of late by consumers attracted to tablets and smartphones, are pinning their hopes for a change in fortunes on the October launch of the Windows 8 operating system, announced last week.
But industry executives and analysts warn that the chill of a slowing global economy could quash those hopes. Unlike in previous downturns, such as in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, consumer demand for new electronic gadgets appears to no longer be decoupled from the state of the broader economy.
Worldwide PC shipments fell to 87.5m units in the second quarter, according to preliminary figures released by the research firm Gartner last week. The 0.1 per cent decline on a year earlier represented the seventh consecutive quarter of virtually flat to single-digit growth.
Acer, the world’s third-largest computer vendor by unit shipments, had previously forecast 10 per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships. That has now been trimmed to zero to 5 per cent growth, according to a company source.
“Uncertainties in the economy in various regions, as well as consumer’s low interest in PC purchases, were some of the key influences, said Mikako Kitagawa, analyst at Gartner.
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