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(Pocket-lint) - Research firm Gartner says the PC market saw its worst decline yet in 2013, as customers looked to smartphones and tablets for electronic comfort.

The fourth quarter, a traditionally rampant buying time for PCs, dipped more than 6.9 per cent in 2013 compared to fourth quarter 2012. This marked the seventh consecutive quarter of shipment decline.

After a year of battling, Lenovo took the top spot in market share during the fourth quarter over Hewlett-Packard. Lenovo accounted for 18.1 per cent of all PC shipments up from 15.8 per cent the year before, and HP saw 16.4 per cent down by 0.1 per cent.

"Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the US, have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Essentially, Kitagawa thinks this is as bad as it gets for the PC market. However, research firm IDC said last week it thinks the market will fall another 3.8 per cent, as tablet sales increase.

"Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets," Kitagawa said. "In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet."

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Writing by Jake Smith. Originally published on 10 January 2014.