iPad, tablets hurt PC shipments

A new research has revealed that last year, the popularity of Apple Inc.’s iPad hurt PC sales. This year, that trend is continuing as PC shipments have declined in the first three months of 2011. According to the research, PC shipments dipped 1.1% compared to the same period last year, to 84.3 million. The other research firm, its numbers show PC shipments fell 3.2% to 80.6 million. The companies measure the market in different ways. The researchers expected 3% shipment growth, while the other research firm was looking for 1.5% growth. According to researchers, during the January-March period consumers weren’t as drawn to cheap PCs — usually a category that keeps the market growing. Rather, they were interested in tablet computers and other consumer electronics.

They added that 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. They are investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on the PC market. For years, companies tried to popularize tablets, but it wasn’t until Apple released the iPad last April that the category took off. Last month, Apple started selling a new version of the device, and a bevy of companies including Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. are trying to catch up by offering their own takes on the tablet.

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