The PC industry will experience its sharpest ever decline in PC shipments during 2009, says Gartner.
The analyst says PC shipments totalling 257m in 2009 will represent an 11.9% decline from 2008. Previously, PC units experienced their worst decline in 2001, when unit shipments contracted 3.2%.
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The worsening situation means firms should be in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating PC refreshes with their suppliers.
"The PC industry is facing extraordinary conditions as the global economy continues to weaken, users stretch PC lifetimes, and PC suppliers grow increasingly cautious," said Gartner analyst George Shiffler.
Whilst netbook growth is helping to absorb some of the pain for PC makers, it will not be enough to stem the overall market fall, said Gartner.