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Worldwide PC Shipments Decline as Tablet Market Expands

A new tablet on display at The 2013 International CES, Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 8, 2013.
A technology research group says worldwide shipments of personal computers continue to decline as tablets replace the PC as many people's primary computing device.

The U.S.-based Gartner group says worldwide PC shipments dropped nearly 11 percent in the second quarter of 2013 from the same period last year. It said this is the fifth straight quarter of declining shipments — the longest in the PC market's history.

The report said that consumers worldwide are instead purchasing more affordable tablet devices. In emerging markets, it said inexpensive tablets have now become the first computing device for many.

PC Sales Worldwide
PC Sales Worldwide
The devices became popular following the release of Apple's iPad in 2010. Tablet prices have since tumbled, amid heated competition from manufacturers who have flooded the market with cheaper alternatives.

Meanwhile, Gartner's third quarter statistics show China's Lenovo overtaking U.S.-based Hewlett Packard as the world's top producer of personal computers. The figures show Lenovo accounted for 16.7 percent of worldwide PC shipments, compared to 16.3 percent for HP.

The research group said in October that Lenovo first passed HP as the world's top PC producer. Its more recent data has shown that HP narrowly retook the top spot. But this is the first quarter that data from both Gartner and its rival research firm, IDC, have put Lenovo at the top.