PC makers muscle in on smartphone market

PC vendors are setting their sights on the booming smartphone market to offset a slump in computer sales.

According to Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales will grow by a stonking 29 per cent this year to reach 180 million units, overtaking notebooks in total unit terms.

Smartphones currently account for 14 per cent of overall mobile device sales, but Gartner reckons that by 2012 they will make up around 37 per cent of global handset sales. Smartphone revenue will also overtake mobile phone revenue, at $191 million by 2012 – higher than end user spending on mobile PCs, which is forecast to reach $152 million in 2012.

Gartner reckons that by the end of the year, all major PC vendors will have some sort of smartphone offering – but that they’ll face some stiff hurdles.

“PC vendors should realise that while convergence of technologies offers an opportunity to enter into the smartphone arena, the business models, go to market and positioning of products is very different from the PC market,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

 “PC vendors will find it difficult to simply use existing supply chains and channels to expand their presence in the smartphone market. The smartphone and notebook markets are governed by different rules when it comes to successfully marketing and selling products.”

The report is on Gartner’s website, here.