The media tablet market, which was reinvigorated by Apple when it launched the iPad earlier this year, and a handful of other factors are hampering worldwide PC sales, research firm Gartner announced in a Nov. 29 report. Shipments are now expected to reach 352.4 million units in 2010 -- a 14.3 percent increase over 2009 figures, but down from Gartner's original expectation of 17.9 percent growth.
The firm also dialed back estimates for 2011. While previously it anticipated 18.1 percent growth, it has now put that figure at 15.9 percent, or a total of 409 million units.
"These results reflect marked reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest in media tablets such as the iPad," Ranjit Atwal, a Gartner research director, said in a statement. "Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 percent of PC units by 2014."
In addition to tablets, the firm sees next-generation smartphones and other devices that "enable better on-the-go content consumption" as negatively impacting the growth of the PC market.