Global PC shipments have declined in Q4, for the first time in six years. Year on year, shipments in Q4 2008 were 0.4 percent lower worldwide, while the US market saw shipments drop 3.5 percent. The last time we saw a drop in shipments was during Q2 2002.
IDC predicted the slowdown, but also expected consumers would turn to cheap PCs and netbooks, and it seems low prices weren't enough to draw consumers to these products. Laptop shipments are still on the rise. However, during the first three quarters of 2008, laptops shipments grew by 40 percent, while the rate halved to around 20 percent in Q4.
Although Q4 was slow, total PC shipments in 2008 grew 10.5 percent. Obviously, the slowdown will extend throughout 2009.