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The Tablet Effect - PC Sales Down

In a study released on Wednesday, IDC reports worldwide PC shipments were slower than expected during the fourth quarter of 2010, influenced by competition from tablets and a slowdown in consumer spending.

PC shipments worldwide were 92.1 million units during the fourth quarter, growing by only 2.7 percent compared to the same quarter in 2009, IDC said. Growth had originally been projected at 5.5%.

The popularity of tablets like Apple's iPad has hurt the demand for PCs, said David Daoud, research director at IDC, in a statement. A new wave of tablets will hit the market this year, which could continue to hurt the PC market.

Daoud commented "Consumers are spending less than they used to," plus, devices like tablets are competing for consumer dollars.

HP retained its position as the top worldwide PC maker, though shipments fell by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter. The company shipped around 18 million PCs during the fourth quarter, giving it a 19.5 percent market share. Dell was the second-largest PC vendor, shipping 11.14 million units, growing year over year by 4.2 percent. That gave Dell a 12.1 percent market share. Acer was in third place, closely followed by Lenovo, whose shipments went up by 21.1 percent to 9.5 million units. Toshiba, in fifth place, saw 12.1 percent growth in PC shipments during the fourth quarter.

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