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Mobile beats the desktop, but interest rates are biting

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Worldwide PC sales are still on track to grow 12,3% in 2007 and 11% in 2008 – but mobile PCs are still the biggest market driver.

This is according to Christopher Riley, CEO of notebook and accessories retailer The Notebook Company, who says his company reported a 20% surge in notebook sales for the year ended February 2007.
He adds, however, that this increasing has been “factored downwards” for the 2008 financial year due to the recent interest hikes in South Africa, which is reducing consumer appetite for big ticket items.
Gartner, meanwhile, believes mobile PC sales will remain buoyant for the next two years.
George Shiffler, research director for Gartner’s Client Platforms Markets Group, says: “We expect growth to run a bit stronger during the rest of 2007 as mobile PCs maintain their momentum and strong emerging-market growth supports desk-based PCs.
“However, we think the climate of uncertainty created by recent events in global financial markets casts some downside risk on our forecast.” Gartner identified mobile PCs as the markets principal growth driver."
Riley adds that The Notebook Company was, until recently, expecting to increase notebook sales at around 20% for the year ended February 2008, but this figure had being forecasted downwards.
From a local perspective, the knock-on affects of global financial turmoil has had less of an affect on sales then the interest rate hikes.
“Business remains solid, but I think it would have been more buoyant if interest rates had not increased so much since last June. It is having an impact on sales. In fact, we are likely to see less spending from companies on generally technology as well.”