Research firm Gartner slashed its growth forecast for the global PC market this year to 3.8 percent from 9.3 percent, citing slower economies in Western Europe and the United States, and a boom in media tablets.
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An increasingly pessimistic economic outlook is causing consumer and business sentiment to deteriorate in both regions, Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said in a statement on Thursday.
Gartner said it expects consumer spending to tighten in response, while business spending would also tighten but to a lesser degree.
U.S. consumer PC shipments were much weaker than expected in the second quarter, and indications are that back-to-school PC sales are disappointing, Atwal said.
The slowing, changing market has hit traditional leaders of the PC market.
Those included killing off the TouchPad tablet computer in the face of stiff competition from Apple.
Media tablets have changed the dynamic of the PC market and HP's decision to rethink its PC strategy simply highlights the pressure that PC vendors are under to adapt or abandon the market, said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner.
No. 2 PC vendor Acer Inc <2353.TW> last month reported the first quarterly loss in its history, as it took charges to reorganize in a troubled first half, and said it would be impossible to break even for the full year.
Vendors' tried and true business models are failing as traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users continue to lengthen PC lifetimes. Vendors only seem to be flailing as they look for quick fixes, Shiffler said.
(Corrects quote in final sentence to flailing not failing)
(Editing by David Hulmes)