Gartner: PCs, handsets to lead electronics recovery

The analyst firm says it has seen the first signs of economic recovery in the electronics industry, with the mobile phone and consumer PC markets leading the way
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The PC and mobile-phone sectors will be at the forefront of a general economic recovery within the electronics industry, according to analysts at Gartner.

In its Signs of Improvement for End-User Electronics Recovery report, issued on Tuesday, Gartner said most electronics sectors had now "hit bottom" in the recession, and the first signs of year-on-year growth will appear with seasonal demand for PCs towards the end of the year.

According to the report's authors, the PC sector bottomed out in the first quarter of 2009, and a sustainable recovery is likely to appear in the third quarter of 2010. The home PC market "has held up better than expected", but corporate demand is depressed, the analysts wrote.

The mobile phone also reached its low point in the first quarter of 2009, but Gartner had originally expected this to occur in the third quarter of the year. "This market is now predicted to be the first sector to show sustainable recovery, starting in the first quarter of 2010," the authors wrote, adding that the rebound came from demand for basic phones targeted at emerging markets, and for smartphones.

The wired communications market will be stable until sustainable growth appears in 2011, according to the report, while the consumer electronics industry will not see pre-recession growth rates until the first quarter of 2011.

Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president for Gartner's semiconductor manufacturing group, commented: "Although the first signs of recovery are starting to appear for the electronics industry, the damage from the current industry recession will be felt for a long time".

"This is seen in our current five-year semiconductor revenue forecast, which does not show recovery to 2007 levels until 2012," Rinnen said. "Vendors must prepare for significant changes in consumer buying behaviour, technology-demand patterns and a changed supplier landscape."

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