Photo by the Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. -- The latest personal computer sales numbers suggest students don't want to lug those hefty PCs anymore.
PC shipments worldwide plummeted 8.6% in the third quarter, the sixth-straight quarterly decline, according to Gartner.
Personal computer sales took a huge hit in the all-important back-to-school shopping quarter for students amid enthusiasm for tablets. Sales of PCs dropped to their lowest level since 2008, according the researcher.
"A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets," says Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa.
During the quarter, 80.3 million PCs were shipped compared with 87.8 million a year ago.
Lenovo, the world's largest PC seller, continued to buck the declines, gaining 2.8% growth worldwide. Hewlett-Packard, the second-largest PC seller, gained 1.5% in the period.
HP's gains marked a first since the first quarter of 2012. Shares of HP were up more than 5% in advance of the PC figures on optimism the company would return more cash to shareholders.
Third-ranked Dell gained 1% in sales in the quarter.