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PCs in Free Fall; Worst Decline Ever

The drop was worse than the 8% decline IDC had forecast

Global PC shipments dropped 13.9% in the first quarter according to IDC, which said it was the worse contraction in the market since it started keeping records back in 1994.

The drop was worse than the 8% decline IDC had forecast.

It blamed cannibalization by tablets and smartphones as well as the failure of Windows 8 on which fortunes hung.

IDC said "it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn't provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market."

Consumers and business customers alike appear to have rejected Windows new touch-sensitive design and its cost.

PC shipments worldwide totaled 76.3 million units.

HP remains in first place, despite seeing a 24% drop in shipments to roughly 12 million units. Dell was third, down 11% to nine million units. Lenovo, which shipped 11.7 million PCs, was second with sales flat year-over-year because it's supplying first-time buyers in China.

IDC said HP and Dell have been hurt by their internal distractions.

Apple shipped 1.4 million Macs, down 7.5% year-over-year, but Apple now represents 10% of the American market.

IDC said it might have to lower its forecast for the year.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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