Weakening consumer demand and the continued distractive buzz surrounding the iPad has caused Gartner to cut traditional PC sales forecasts for 2010.
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Worldwide shipments are on track to total just over 352 million units, representing growth of 14.3% year-on-year but this is below than earlier projections of a near 18% rise.
"These results reflect marked reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest in media tablets," said Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal.
This is the second such move made by the analyst since the summer and signals a longer term trend in the market with ultra portable form factors including media tablets and smartphones set to gain greater prominence at the cost of classic clients.
There are four other dynamics challenging the traditional PC industry; consumers in emerging markets may "leapfrog" classic PCs in favour of alternative devices; shrinking consumer wallets, extended lifecycles and the adoption of thin clients.
"PCs are still seen as necessities, but the PC industry's inability to significantly innovate and its overreliance on a business model predicated on driving volume through price declines are finally impacting the industry's ability to induce new replacement cycles," said George Shiffler, Gartner research director.