NEW YORK (AP) -- Sales of personal computers will continue to shrink this year after a grim 2012, as consumers flock toward tablets, research firm IDC said Monday.
IDC expects global PC sales to contract 1.3 percent this year after falling 3.7 percent last year.
For the U.S., IDC expects the third year in a row of contraction, while sales will continue to grow, albeit slowly, in the developing world.
PC makers had hoped Windows 8, which Microsoft Corp. launched in October, would help make the personal computer appealing again. But the new operating system hasn't helped, IDC notes.
A shaky global economy is contributing to the weak sales, IDC analysts said.
IDC analyst Loren Loverde said while tablets still don't match PCs for storage space and other functions, "they are winning consumer dollars with mobility and consumer appeal nevertheless."
Another research firm, Canalys, put 2012 tablet sales at 115 million, up from essentially zero before 2010, when Apple launched the iPad. That compares with 353 million PCs sold last year according to Gartner.