The rise of the media tablet has been cited by IDC as one factor behind a slowing of the global PC market in the final quarter of 2010.
According to the market watcher, softening consumer demand also hit sales in the three months up to December, as shipments rose a modest 2.7 per cent year on year to 92.1 million.
That is less than the 5.5 per cent rise IDC projected.
IDC said that competition from the Apple iPad had eaten into PC shipments in Q4, particularly in EMEA, and that this dynamic is likely to intensify.
"This situation is likely to persist in 2011, if not worsen, as a wave of media tablets could put a dent in the traditional PC market," said David Daoud, research director, US Quarterly PC Tracker and Personal Computing.
While the top two manufacturers, HP and Dell, both experienced fairly flat quarters, third-placed Acer saw shipments plunge 15 per cent year on year, causing its market share to drop from 12.8 to 10.6 per cent.
In contrast, fourth-placed Lenovo saw shipments tick up 21 per cent, putting it less than a point behind Acer, which IDC attributed partly to its success on commercial projects.
Toshiba rounded out the top five after enjoying a 12.1 per cent shipment growth during the quarter.
IDC said "consumer fatigue" for netbooks and the potential for softening demand in some regions could stunt PC growth in 2011.
"These factors are likely to slightly reduce growth from previous projections of about 10 per cent for 2011, although replacements in the commercial segment and aggressive competition should still support double-digit growth in the second half of the year," said Jay Chou, research analyst at Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
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