For those concerned about the impending death of the personal computer, reassuring news did not come on Tuesday.
According to a study published by research firm IDC, worldwide shipments of PCs will drop 6 percent overall this year. The continued decline of the products -- they fell 9.8 percent in 2013 -- comes as consumers continue to embrace mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. As of December, one in every five people owned a smartphone, according to BI Intelligence, the subscription research service operated by Business Insider.
While many have already pointed to the "post-PC era," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the idea even further, declaring last week that we are in the "."
IDC's figure takes into account shipments of PCs from manufacturers to stores, and not stores to consumers. The firm projected that 296.3 million PCs would ship in 2014, down from the 315.1 million shipped last year. IDC predicts that the number will fall even further to 287.3 million in 2018.
The firm adjusted its estimate slightly, after previously projecting that shipments would fall 6.1 percent. The changed forecast comes from shipments slightly higher than expected in "mature regions" like Western Europe.