Computer shipments to retailers are estimated to end the year much lower as consumers spend more time on smartphones and tablets.
Shipments of desktops and laptops (whether they run on Windows, Mac or other operating systems) are expected to show a decline of more than 10 percent, the most dramatic drop ever, according to research firm IDC. Shipments dropped about 4 percent last year.
"It's like newspaper subscriptions," said CNET Editor-in-Chief Paul Sloan. "They're just going to keep going down. Mobile is growing; tablets are growing."
Although no tablet on the market can entirely replace a personal computer, he said, the ones available are fine for what most users do with them.