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Intel CEO sees PCs on upswing in ’09

Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini speaks at the Intel Developers’ Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday. Otellini said the PC market is pulling out of its slump.

AP PHOTO

SAN FRANCISCO — The worldwide personal-computer market is pulling out of its slump quickly and could defy predictions by growing this year, Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini said Tuesday.

Otellini’s comments at a conference Tuesday were more bullish than many analysts have been. Market research firms IDC and Gartner have both predicted a year-over-year decline in PC shipments in 2009, which would be the first such drop since 2001.

The market has been dragged by a clampdown in corporate spending on new PCs, and some computer companies are already looking to next year for an upturn. Sales of cheap little “netbook” computers, used primarily for surfing the Internet, have been a bright spot, but those machines ring up low profits for PC and chip makers. Intel is the world’s top maker of microprocessors, the “brains” of PCs.

Otellini said he expects PC sales to be “flat to slightly up” this year from last. He said the rebound is being fueled by the fact computers are “indispensable, something that people need in their daily lives.”

“I think that the market is poised for a resurgence,” he said.

Researchers at Gartner Inc. predict a 2 percent decline in PC shipments for 2009, though that’s better than a few months ago, when the group was forecasting a drop of 6 percent.

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