The Gartner Group anticipates that more PCs will be replaced this year than in the run-up to 2000.

The analysts expect 120 million personal computers will be replaced this year, with 140 million more set for upgrade in 2005. This represents a 13.6 per cent rise in shipments this year and 9.8 per cent next year.

Gartner states that ageing PCs – of which it claims 30 per cent are three or more years old – and continued economic growth in the US and Asia will contribute.

This shift will also drive forward the fortunes of PC makers, including Apple. The PC industry is returning results up 14.3 per cent year on year.