Research firm Gartner is forecasting worldwide PC shipments to reach 368 million units by the end of 2012, a 4.4 increase from 2011.
Gartner forecasts even more growth by the end of 2013, when shipments are expected to reach 400 million units.
That’s good news for a PC industry that’s seen its growth slow to a crawl, buffeted by the weak economy and shifting consumer demands, especially in mature markets.
In 2011, worldwide PC shipments totaled 352.8 million units, an anemic 0.5 percent increase from 2010, according to Gartner.
According to Gartner, 2011 “redefined the landscape of the device market,” with more people turning to Web tablets and smartphones to do things they’ve traditionally done on a PC, such as emailing and Web surfing.
“PC shipments will remain weak in 2012, as the PC market plays catch up in bringing a new level of innovation that consumers want to see in devices they purchase,” Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said in a news release. “The real question is whether Windows 8 and ultrabooks will create the compelling offering that gets the earlier adopter of devices excited about PCs again.”