Research firm Gartner has released its report for PC sales for 2013, and it’s not a pretty picture. According to the company’s statistics worldwide PC shipments declined by 6.9% for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to the same quarter in 2012. In real numbers, that’s 82.6-million PCs shipped in the last quarter of 2013, versus 88.3-million in the last quarter 2012.

It gets worse still when considering the year as a whole. For all of 2013 PC shipments totalled 315.9-million, a whopping 10% down from 2012’s figures. Gartner says that this number of units shipped is equivalent to 2009, but we’re guessing that manufacturers aren’t nostalgic and really wishing for those good ol’ days.

Two companies that are enjoying the spoils, though, are Dell and Lenovo. Their shipments for the last quarter show growth of 6.2% and 6.6% respectively, but all their competitors have fallen on hard times, with Acer and Asus being the hardest hit, in the last quarter. Looking at all of 2013, though, and it’s only rosy for China’s Lenovo, with a 2.1% growth for last year – likely fuelled by China’s booming market.

The US market on its own paints a different picture. There, the market is down by 7.5% in the last quarter of 2013. Huge losses incurred by HP, Toshiba, and others – to the tune of 54.6% – but Dell’s 7.4% and Lenovo’s 3.5% growth are dwarfed by Apple’s 28.5% surge in sales. The trends say “Goodbye PC” but Apple’s handful of innovative products are clearly drawing consumer interest in its home market.

It should be noted, though, that Gartner only includes desktop computers, laptops, and mini notebooks in its sales estimates, but not tablets. Granted, those can be seen as different product categories, but most people consider tablets as computers and are relying on them as their primary machines. 2013 also saw the introduction of many tablets that run on PC architecture – ie: full Windows installations and Intel processors – but aren’t classified as PCs.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.