Research from both Gartner and IDC found PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010 were lower than expected, thanks to sales of the iPad and games consoles.
IDC found the global PC market only grew by 2.7pc in the fourth quarter, lower than its prediction of 5.5pc growth.
However, it found that shipments hit 92.1m, making them the largest ever.
Gartner saw similar results in its research, seeing a 3.1pc growth, lower than its predictions of 4.8pc, and shipments totalled to 93.5m.
This was attributed to sales of tablet computers and games consoles.
“Overall, holiday PC sales were weak in many key regions due to the intensifying competition in consumer spending,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
“Media tablets, such as the iPad, as well as other consumer electronic (CE) devices, such as game consoles, all competed against PCs.”
Kitagawa noted that the professional market helped the PC grow steadily in that area, due to replacement purchases.
David Daoud, research director at IDC, agreed that the slowed growth was due to weakening demand and competition from the iPad.
“In addition to relatively high market penetration and a ‘good-enough’ computing experience with existing PCs, consumers are being more cautious with their purchases and competing devices have been vying for consumer dollars,” Daoud said.
“This situation is likely to persist in 2011, if not worsen, as a wave of media tablets could put a dent in the traditional PC market,” he said.
HP was the top PC vendor worldwide, shipping more than 17,000 units in the fourth quarter. However, it experienced a decline in growth of 1pc.
Dell came second, shipping more than 11,000 PCs globally, growing by 4.2pc.
PC sales for the year were up 14pc for the full year of 2010, thanks to strong economic recovery at the first part of the year.