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PC Shipments Expected to Decline For First Time in 11 Years

The company has revised its forecast for 2012 and now believes that only 348.7 million PCs will be sold this year - down 1.2 percent from 352.8 million. The last time the industry declined was in 2001, the year when the dotcom bust came crashing down on the PC industry.

Sobering outlooks posted by Intel and AMD appear to be the main drivers for the revised forecast. The back-to-school season has not jump-started things, ultrabook shipments are behind analyst's expectations, and there are questions about just how much impact Windows 8 will have on the PC industry. Analysts are also watching the performance of tablets and smartphones and whether they will negatively impact PC sales in the fourth quarter.

IHS said that there is now hope that 2013 will be a rebound year for the PC. This hope is resting on ultrabooks and ultracompact systems, as well as Windows 8. "Whether a newly configured PC space could then stand up to the powerful smartphone and tablet markets, however, remains to be seen," IHS said.

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