Can HP's PC spin-off squash PC sales overall?

Summary:IDC said global PC shipments were up 2.7 percent in the second quarter and growth for the year will be about 2.8 percent.

PC sales are expected to show only modest growth in 2011 and HP's planned spin-off of its personal systems unit may also add to the uncertainty, according to IDC.

The research firm said that global PC shipments were up 2.7 percent in the second quarter and growth for the year will be about 2.8 percent.

Those projections aren't that surprising since Gartner also cut its outlook for 2011 amid demand for tablets and a slowing economy.

However, IDC added a new wrinkle to the PC sales mix. Jay Chou, an analyst at IDC, said "the proposed spin-off of HP's PC business has also contributed to uncertainty in the market." In other words, corporate IT buyers and channel partners are re-evaluating HP's prospects. That fact means that PC sales may take a hit as buyers weigh alternatives---a period that could take weeks to months---or decide to hold off on upgrades. In addition, HP is the top PC vendor so any drop-off in sales is going to affect the industry overall.

Overall, IDC sang a familiar PC tune:

  • The PC industry lacks compelling offerings.
  • The economies of the U.S. and Europe are sluggish.
  • Enterprise spending is holding up and emerging markets look strong.
  • Media tablets are gobbling up sales.
  • Here's the overview for the next few years.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Enterprise Software, Hardware


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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