IDC’s preliminary forecast of 5% growth for desktop and notebooks in quarter one of 2007 is not cause for concern, as the third quarter will see the market responding positively to major launches by vendors like Intel and Microsoft. 

This is according to Craig Brunsden, chief marketing officer at Axiz, who says that quarter one is traditionally used to determine the performance of any given year, but that this approach has not always proved to be the most accurate benchmark.
He cites 2003 as a good example when forecasters predicted flat growth for the year and it ended up delivering 14%. Quarter one of 2004 saw a similar situation with growth of 10% expected and 34% actually delivered.
“The market is changing and we no longer see the same buying cycles for PCs, but rather activity associated with big industry launches and changing consumer usage models like mobile PCs," says Brunsden.
"We have finally seen the end of the Y2K hangover, having experienced three years of slow uptake. Now it is all about the major vendors and what launches they are planning."
While quarter one was slower, Brunsden says he fully expects the second half of the year to bring higher levels of activity.
“There has been a level of uncertainty with the launch of Microsoft Vista, but this will ease towards the end of the year as end users give more serious consideration to Vista and other new products such as Santa Rosa, Intel’s next generation mobile processor chipset and Intel’s Core2 Quad processor.”
While competition continues to increase, Brunsden believes that the key players continue to perform consistently thereby gaining ground against arch rivals. He says it is possibly a case of survival of the most agile and innovative right now.
Not one to ignore forecasts, he does think IDC’s prediction is reflective of the market.
“It’s almost as if the market is taking a breather after some very strenuous periods of activity. It is for this reason that IDC’s 5% makes sense, but it is not a cause for concern or a reflection of a long-term slow down. It is merely the lifecycle of a very dynamic market.”
He says that the pattern internationally is not much different, with the majority of mature markets expecting mediocre growth figures.