Market research outfit IDC has cut the firm's forcast for growth in PC shipments during 2011 from 7.1 per cent to 4.2 per cent.
The firm downgraded the previous February forecast following continued decline of first quarter shipments and a "conservative economic outlook", they said.
The fact that any growth is expected at all is entirely down to strong growth in developing markets. In so-called 'mature markets' which include Europe and the US, desktop PC sales were expected to fall 4.9 per cent while portable PCs would fall 3.2 per cent.
IDC also said that "saturation" among the highly developed Western market would contribute to slow growth before a rebound in 2012. Longer term IDC said that the firm expects the PC market to grow 10 to 11 per cent per year.
"The PC market has definitely hit a slow patch," said IDC consumer trackers boss Loren Loverde. "Nevertheless, the long-term growth drivers - first among which are growth in emerging markets, declining prices, and growing functionality - remain intact," added Loverde.
"The product and design innovations underway will keep PC growth healthy in the long term."
IDC said that consumers were moving to a multiple-device model of computing devices since they already owned PCs. "They're now adding smart phones, media tablets, and eReaders to their device collections," said IDC's displays boss. Bob O'Donnell.