PC shipments worldwide in the fourth quarter dropped for the first time since 2001, says analyst IDC.
Shipments were down 0.4% to 77.3 million. The holiday season is usually regarded as boom time for PC sales.
The last overall drop took place in the second quarter of 2001, during the last market crash.
IDC was previously predicting growth in the fourth quarter despite the recession. It says the fall shows the extent of the problems PC manufacturers face in generating revenues.
Last week, Dell announced it was transferring European PC production from Ireland to Poland to cut costs, with the loss of 2,000 jobs at Limerick in western Ireland.
Lenovo also recently announced major job losses.