A day after the launch of Apple's new iPad,
a new report Thursday underlined the drastic effect tablet computers
are having on PC sales.
The study by research firm Gartner predicted that PC sales would grow just 4.4 percent in 2012 to 368 million, after falling slightly in 2011.
Apple sold 15.4 million iPads in the last quarter of 2011, siphoning buyers away from traditional PCs and laptops. Gartner has predicted tablet sales of over 100 million this year, with Apple expected to gain at least a 60 percent market share.
"Consumers will now look at a task that they have to perform, and they will determine which device will allow them to perform such a task in the most effective, fun and convenient way," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "The device has to meet the user needs, not the other way 'round."
"The real question is whether Windows 8 and Ultrabooks will create the compelling offering that gets the earlier adopter of devices excited about PCs again," he added.
Gartner also stressed the importance of emerging markets to drive PC growth, with their share of sales reaching 50 percent in 2011 and climbing to 70 percent in 2016.
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