Like The Little Engine That Could, the worldwide PC market kept chugging onward against all economic odds, pushed in large part by an emerging netbook market that seemingly popped up overnight. But the ultraportable PCs could only do so much to stave off the inevitable, and according to market research firm iSuppli, the global PC market will suffer its first decline in 2009 since the Dot-Com bust of 2001.
"An annual decline in unit shipments is highly unusual in the PC market," observed Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms for iSuppli. "Even in weak years, PC unit shipments typically rise by single-digit percentages. The last decline -- in 2001 -- was a 5.1 decrease in unit shipments due to the extraordinary impact of the Dot-Com bust, which caused inflated IT spending levels from the previous years to collapse."
The market research firm predicts global PC shipments to dip to 287.3 million units in 2009, marking a 4 percent drop from the 299.2 million shipments in 2008. Ironically enough, a growing notebook market -- which we assume also includes netbooks -- might be part of the reason for the overall drop in PC shipments. While notebook PC shipments will rise by 11.7 percent, desktop PC shipments, including entry-level servers, is expected to plummet 18.1 percent and is being cited as the "primary factor driving the decline of the PC market in 2009," according to iSupply.
Last month, Opera Software had announced that the long awaited and much delayed Opera Mobile 9.5 was undergoing alpha testing and the beta version would become available for download on July 15th, 2008. And, miraculously enough, Opera didn’t disappoint this time around and stuck to its promise.
Just to let you know, this release doesn’t offer support for non-touchscreen Windows Mobile phones. You can download the new browser for free and catch a glimpse of the various enhancements. I believe that this news might not excite those who own an Opera 9.5-bearing HTC Diamond or have downloaded a ripped version of the browser.
“The wait is (almost) over,” offers the official Opera Mobile blog excitedly. Opera Mobile 9.5 is finally coming to Windows Mobile phones. But most users still remain skeptical of Opera’s fresh release claim as the browser’s release has been procrastinated on several occasions already. Anyways, Opera Mobile 9.5 for Windows Mobile is currently going through a release testing phase and the first beta version of the browser will be available on July 15th.
The Opera Mobile 9.5 browser runs on the same browser engine as the desktop version of the browser and this, according to Opera Software, is the reason for the delay in its release. Surprisingly, there is still no word of the Symbian version.
Not everyone, of course, has had to endure the excruciatingly long wait for the browser as some have got their hands on the Opera Mobile 9.5-bearing HTC Touch Diamond or a version ripped from the cellphone.
We leave you with this comment from an anonymous, incredulous user on the official Opera blog: “And why would anyone believe this date after what they pulled with that last blog entry? July 15th may mean November 15th from previous experience. And we won't hear back from them until September.”