PC Sales To Die Next Year (AAPL)(HPQ)(DELL)(MSFT)(RIMM)(NOK)(PALM)

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PCs. cell phone, and video games. Winners every year. Rock solid growth driving remarkable industry earnings.

Nokia (NOK), RIM (RIMM), and PALM (PALM) have destroyed the hope that 2009 will be a strong year for cell phone sales. Now new research shows that PCs are going the way of all flesh as well

According to Reuters, IDC, a top research firm, cut its forecasts for 2009 personal computer sales, expecting shipment volume to drop 5.3 percent as the weak economy discourages some buyers and tight credit thwarts others. The company "previously forecast that global PC shipments would rise 4.5 percent next year."

Big swing.

Since Dell (DELL) has been the most pessimistic about its prospects for next year and Wall St. believes that the company has a long way to go to improve operations, it will likely be the hardest hit by the trend. HP (HPQ), which has proved adroit at marketing its desktops and laptops here and abroad, will probably do better,. It it now No.1 in global PC market share.

The big question mark is Apple (AAPL). Many IT departments are nervous about the cost of supporting its OS along with Microsoft (MSFT) Windows, but Mac sales have had a life of their own, defying gravity for the last several quarters. If Mac can keep that up, it will be a miracle. But, Apple has produced miracles before.

Douglas A. McIntyre