Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes believes that the Windows 8 launch will have limited impact on worldwide PC shipments, despite predictions of a rebound.

At present, there is debate over whether the decline in worldwide PC sales has been caused by consumers waiting in anticipation of Microsoft’s Windows 8, which is set to launch on 26 October, or by the growth of iPad sales as buyers opt for a tablet instead of a PC.

“We continue to believe,” wrote Reitzes in a note about the optimism around Windows 8, “that the rise of smartphones and the iPad are having an adverse impact on the PC market – in addition to macro [economic] factors.”

Apple Insider reports that Reitzes acknowledges that Windows 8 and new ultrabooks could cause an improvement, but states that “after some short-term ‘excitement’ we believe the PC market will resume its pattern of deceleration given secular threats from tablets and smartphones, which are cannibalizing traditional PC tasks and creating all new use cases through apps.”

“While PCs certainly won’t go away,” Reitzes adds, “we simply do not believe that consumers and corporations have enough ‘wallet’ to grow the PC market given the need to invest in new gadgets and platforms.”

Reitzes predicts that PC growth will be “stagnant,” while the “industry revenue declines that fund the growth of these new platforms.”

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