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Declining PC market threatened by tablet popularity

The PC market has continued to decline after delays in refresh cycles and increased purchases of tablet devices, according to research.

The latest figures from research firm Gartner show that global PC sales fell by 1.1% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 - below Gartner's prediction of 3% growth.

In western Europe, PC purchases were delayed by consumers' consideration of tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad 2. However, business buying habits supported the declining PC market.

"Steady growth in the professional PC sector, driven by the replacement cycle, was a bright spot for the global PC market. Without the professional segment growth, the PC market could have experienced one of the worst declines in its recent history," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

HP, Dell and Acer all experienced a fall in PC sales. Acer's shipments fell 12% in the quarter. HP maintained the top spot despite experiencing a decline of 3%.

Dell shipments fell 2% for the first time in six consecutive quarters. Meanwhile, Lenovo continued to grow by 16%.

Gartner is investigating if the decline of PC sales will have a long-term effect on the PC market.

Jeremy Davies, CEO at Context, says the slowdown of PC sales could affect businesses, as was demonstrated when netbook PC sales fell by 25.6% compared with last year.


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