The PC market has been hit with a weak consumer demand and the increasing popularity of tablet devices like Apple's iPad, a market report has revealed.
According to a report released by research firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2011 were at 84.3 million, a 1.1 percent decline compared to the total shipments in the first quarter of 2010.
The research firm noted that even though first quarter PC sales have been traditionally slow, the current 1.1 percent decline points to a sluggish market. The firm had predicted that the PC sales will grow by 3.3 percent in Q1 2011.
Weak demand for PCs was the main factor behind the drop in sales, Gartner said, adding that low prices did little to lure consumers to buy more PCs.
“Instead, consumers turned their attention to media tablets and other consumer electronics. With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs. We're investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on the PC market” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.