Last November, we saw iSuppli revise its growth forecast to say PC shipments would only grow by 4.3% this year, down from the previously predicted 11.9%. As CNet News reports, rival market research firm IDC has now published a much more pessimistic forecast.
IDC's number looks nearly the same... except for that little minus sign: the firm expects the PC market will actually shrink by 4.5% this year. Looking on the bright side, IDC believes most of the, er, shrinkage will happen during the first half of the year, and that shipments will see a "small, but positive growth in the fourth quarter." (For the record, IDC worked out that the PC market grew by 3.8% in 2008, with the fourth quarter seeing a decline of 1.9%.)
The research firm sounds reasonably hopeful overall, saying the PC market won't take too long to rebound because it's "driven heavily by replacement cycles, and though companies and individuals may be holding back during this volatile period in the economy, computers don't last forever." IDC does however expect "consolidation" and plummeting average selling prices (thanks largely to low-cost netbooks and nettops).