According IDC research data, shipments of traditional PCs fell short of expectations worldwide, "Worldwide PC shipments of 92.1 million units for the quarter represented growth of 2.7% compared with the Q4 of last year, but IDC had previously been expecting growth of 5.5% worldwide. In the U.S., shipments fell 4.8% over the same time period -- which cited factors including weaker consumer demand and the growth of Apple's iPad."
"In addition to relatively high market penetration and 'good-enough' computing, consumers are spending less than they used to, and competing devices added competition for consumer dollars," he said, adding that the "situation is likely to persist in 2011, if not get worse as a wave of Media Tablets could put a dent on the traditional PC market."
That coming wave will include new tablets based on Google's Android operating system, many of which were on display at last week's Consumer Electronics Show. IDC doesn't count the iPad or other "Media Tablets" in its PC shipment numbers.