The global market for personal computers is still weak, after two years of declining sales, although researchers cited some positive signs in a pair of sales reports issued Monday.
The IDC research firm says total PC shipments were down 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year — though not as bad as the 4.8 percent drop the company predicted. IDC also says shipments for the year fell 2.1 percent.
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But researchers at another firm, Gartner, estimate PC shipments rose 1 percent in the last quarter, while shipments for the year are down less than 1 percent. Each firm uses different methods of estimating computer shipments by manufacturers around the world.
Both firms say it appears the long-running slump in computer sales began to level off last year.