Worldwide Sales of personal computers is expected reach 385 million units in 2011 according to updated forecast from the Gartner research firm.

The firm projects sales will be up 9.3 percent for the year. This is slightly lower than Gartner's previous projection of 10.5 percent growth (387.8 million units) for this year.

The firm says sales of computers to consumers has slowed because buyers in mature markets are maintaining a tight rein on their spending in response to continuing economic uncertainty; a lack of compelling reasons for consumers to replace their PCs; and a decline in mini-notebook sales.

"Consumer mobile PCs are no longer driving growth, because of sharply declining consumer interest in mini-notebooks. Mini-notebook shipments have noticeably contracted over the last several quarters, and this has substantially reduced overall mobile PC unit growth," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Media tablets, such as the iPad, have also impacted mobile growth, but more because they have caused consumers to delay new mobile PC purchases rather than directly replacing aging mobile PCs with media tablets."

Gartner believes personal computers are transitioning from a one-size-fits-all computing platform to a number of more-specialized devices.

"Moving forward, PCs will no longer be a market by themselves, but part of a larger device market that ranges from smart televisions to the most-basic-feature phones. Within this market, consumers and professionals will increasingly use the combination of devices that best suits their particular needs." said Mr. Atwal.

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