Global personal computer shipments crept up only slightly in the fourth quarter, a pair of industry trackers said on Wednesday, hurt by weak consumer holiday demand and competition from Apple’s iPad tablet.
PC shipments rose 2.7% to 92.1 million in the October-December period, research group IDC said. IDC had expected growth of 5.5 %. Separately, researcher Gartner said fourth-quarter shipments rose 3.1%.
“If you look at Europe and the US, the market wasn’t that good. Part of that was the tablet,” IDC analyst Jay Chou said.
“Netbooks are old news now, and people just don’t have the dollars to spend,” he further added.
The iPad, which launched last April, has helped spawn a new market in tablet computers. Dozens of touchscreen tablets are expected to launch this year, further eating into demand for traditional PCs. IDC does not count tablets in its PC estimates, but the market is expected to top 50 million units this year. For 2010 as a whole, PC shipments rose 13.6% to 346.2 million units, IDC said. The group now expects growth in 2011 to be lower than its previous forecast of 10%.