Gartner cited the mobile shift as the main reason for a seven percent drop in worldwide PC sales from the previous year during the three months ending in December, a period when the demand for electronics is at its peak. It marks the seventh consecutive quarter of decreasing PC sales.
For all of last year, PC sales plunged 10 percent, according to Gartner. Shipments of desktop and laptop computers had never slipped by more than four percent in any other previous year. The other annual declines occurred in 2001, in the midst of a technology bust driven by a collapse in the Internet sector, and in 2012, which marked the early stages of the migration to tablet computers
Around 316 million PCs shipped last year, according to Gartner. That means PCs have backtracked to roughly the same level as in 2009 when the worldwide economy was struggling to shake off the Great Recession. PC sales are expected to deteriorate a little more this year.