PC Shipments May Be Lower than Analyst Predictions

January 12, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The fourth quarter PC shipments are seen as sliding a bit low, due to the floods in Thailand. So think the analysts. But what the PC people have to say makes it sound euphemistic if anything.

While analysts had expected PC shipments to fall about 1 percent, the actual number may be lower, Microsoft Windows CFO Tami Reller said during an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show inLas Vegas. During a Nomura Holdings event, Reller said that more downward adjustments may be coming.

Intel had warned in December that it will see a revenue shortfall of $1 billion, largely due to the HDD shortage caused by flooding inThailand. Earlier this month, hard-disk supplier Seagate Technology reiterated that demand for HDD units will exceed supply in 2012 in the wake of flooding last year inThailand, which affected a third of the country.

Bill Koefoed, the general manager of Investor Relations for Microsoft, also admitted the shipment might be on the downward trend, at another event.

As the numbers come out, you’ll likely see that number decline further, as the impact has been felt faster than people had anticipated, Koefoed said at the J.P. Morgan Tech Forum at CES.

The supply chain was resilient, he said, and some vendors have talked about how they’re recovering faster than expected.

iSuppli said Global PC shipments for the whole of 2012 are now expected to expand by only 6.8 percent in 2012, down from the previous outlook of 9.5 percent growth.

Such bad times.

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