* Previous forecast was for 20 percent growth
* Cites consumer demand, replacement of business PCs
* Sees consumer PC growth outpacing business growth
* Sees some 10 mln tablets selling this year
NEW YORK/BOSTON, May 26 Industry tracker
Gartner expects global PC shipments to rise 22 percent this
year, up from its March forecast of 20 percent, driven by
strong consumer demand and companies replacing aging
Gartner also forecast that electronics makers will sell
some 10 million media tablets this year as consumers embrace
these devices, which include Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) popular iPad
and Dell Inc's DELL.O soon-to-be-released Streak.
The forecast for PCs reflects improving sales in the early
months of the year from the top companies, including Microsoft
Corp (MSFT.O), Intel Inc (INTC.O), Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N),
Acer Inc (2353.TW), Dell, Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK), Apple and
Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD.N. One of the biggest problems
is coping with component shortages from suppliers, who cut back
on production during the recession.
Worldwide PC shipments were seen at 376.6 million units in
2010, according to Gartner, compared with its March forecast of
366.1 million and last year's 308.3 million units. Global PC
spending is forecast to increase 12 percent to $245.4 billion
in 2010. Those figures do not include media tablets.
"Consumers are now viewing PCs as necessities rather than
luxury items," Ranjit Atwal, principal research analyst at
Gartner, said in a statement on Wednesday. "In the downturn,
PCs remained the electronic device of choice on which to spend
household income in mature markets and we do not expect this to
change either in 2010 or beyond."
Gartner forecast PC shipments for the home market would
increase 29.5 percent this year, outpacing the 13.1 percent
rise forecast for the professional market. Atwal said
Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7, is boosting
demand from the business market, with larger companies expected
to start making replacements in the second half of 2010 and the
rest in 2011 and 2012.
The research company forecast mini-notebook sales will grow
at a rapid clip this year, rising 30 percent, but added growth
will slow as tablets such as the iPad become more popular.
Gartner estimates mini notebooks will account for 13.9
percent of the laptop market in 2014, down from an estimated
18.6 percent in 2010.
"Some consumers purchased mini-notebooks based solely on
price. Many consumers are now choosing purchases up the price
curve rather than at the bottom of it," Gartner analyst Raphael
Vasquez said in a statement.
While tablets such as the iPad will not hurt mini-notebook
sales this year, Vasquez expects the new devices to
significantly hit mini-notebooks starting in 2013. He expects
tablet prices to fall below those of mini-notebooks, while
functionality becomes comparable.
(Reporting by Tiffany Wu and Jim Finkle; editing by Andre