Gartner: PC sales disappoint in fourth quarter, blame the iPad

Gartner said that global PC shipments were up 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter and missed its expectations. Why? Apple's iPad and game consoles competed for a share of your wallet.

Gartner said that global PC shipments were up 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter and missed its expectations. Why? Apple's iPad and game consoles competed for a share of your wallet.

The research firm said it had been expecting PC unit shipments to be up 4.8 percent. Actual shipments in the fourth quarter came in a 93.5 million units. Gartner's tally comes just ahead of Intel's fourth quarter earnings report. Rest assured iPad cannibalization of netbook and laptop sales will be a key topic. The PC industry maintains that tablets add to the computing category.

In a statement Gartner said:

PC sales were weak in many key regions due to the intensifying competition in consumer spending. Media tablets, such as the iPad, as well as other consumer electronic (CE) devices, such as game consoles, all competed against PCs.

The good news for PC makers is the enterprise replacement cycle remains strong. Here's a look at the standings.

Globally...

And in the U.S. Note Apple's surge.

And how units will shape up for 2010.

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