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Cnet: In a new report, market research firm Gartner predicts that PC manufacturers will ship 368 million units in 2012--just a 4.4 percent improvement over last year. Gartner blames the sluggish growth on the popularity of smartphones and tablets. "The use of applications such as e-mail, social networking, and Internet access, that were traditionally the domain of the PC, are now being used across media tablets and smartphones, making these devices in some cases more valued and attractive propositions," said Gartner's Ranjit Atwal. "Consumers will now look at a task that they have to perform, and they will determine which device will allow them to perform such a task in the most effective, fun and, convenient way."
However, the firm predicts that the PC industry will improve in 2013, shipping 400 million systems for an 8.5 percent increase. Ultrabooks and growth in emerging markets will play a key role in any improvements.