that worldwide PC shipments declined in the fourth quarter of 2012 by nearly 5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Gartner analysts say the blame is not a weaker economy, but a shift in PC purchases caused by tablets. Gartner sees consumers shifting to buying a new tablet instead of replacing an old secondary PC in the home.
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a release, "Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by 'cannibalizing' PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs. Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC. There will be some individuals who retain both, but we believe they will be exception and not the norm. Therefore, we hypothesize that buyers will not replace secondary PCs in the household, instead allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet."
Gartner also says that consumers did not view PCs as the number one gift item durign the 2012 holiday season. They also say the Windows 8 launch did not have a significant impact on Q4 2012 PC shipments.