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PC sales are starting to wobble as the attraction of tablets lure consumers to a new form of computing. Among the biggest Companies to be hit was Acer who saw a 20.4 percent decline in notebook and netbook sales.According to IHS iSuppli PC shipments fell in the first quarter of 2011 from 81.3 million units to 81.6 million. In comparison and before the launch of iPad 2 and new Android tablets the fourth quarter of 2010 was the best period ever for global PC shipments.

Among the devices to have hurt PC manufacturers like Acer is the new iPad 2 which has captured 87 percent of all tablet sales since being launched.

IHS said that Acer’s decline was due to its dependence on the netbook and the direct impact tablets are having on those products. Nigel Gore the General Manager of product management at Acer Australia said recently that he is hoping to sell 125,000 Android Tablets this year.

“IHS believes that the jury is still out on exactly how much tablets are cannibalising PC sales. However, the rising number of tablet models on the market, along with certain high-profile product launches during the first quarter, caused confusion among consumers as to exactly how to view the tablet platform relative to the PC platform,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms.

IHS analysts were surprised at the fall off as the fourth quarter of 2010 represented the best period ever for global PC shipments.

Despite these early month doldrums, IHS expects a turnaround later this year with the global PC market growing 8 percent to 373 million units.

HP maintained its top spot with 18.9 percent of the market. Dell continued to hang onto second place with 12.9 percent share. Dell was helped by Acer’s 20.4 percent drop. Lenovo and Toshiba filled out the rest of the top five.

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