Worldwide sales of PCs and desktop computers are at their lowest for nearly a decade, recent figures have shown.
According to a report from research firm IDC, 76.3 million PCs were sold around the world in the first three months of the year, falling by 13.9 per cent from the first quarter of 2012.
This level of decline, the worst the industry has seen since 1994, has come as a surprise to many analysts, who had expected to see a drop of just 7.7 per cent.
HP continued to be the world's most popular PC manufacturer, shifting just under 11.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, but even they were hit by a dramatic decrease in sales, having sold 23.7 per cent less than they did in the same period last year.
David Daoud, IDC's Research Director for Personal Computing, said of the findings: "The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer."
It is thought that the rapidly growing market for mobile devices has contributed to the fall in PC sales, as shoppers choose to spend their money on the latest smartphone or tablet rather than a desktop computer.
Indeed, the latest advances in mobile technology mean that the majority of smartphones and tablets have much the same capabilities as a PC, which all but eliminates the need to own both devices.
Of course, the issue now for online marketers is that it is now more vital than ever to integrate a mobile strategy into their campaigns, lest they miss out on targeting a significant chunk of their audience.