(Adds details on shipments, industry context)
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Global personal computer shipments fell 10.6 percent in the quarter ended in December compared to a year earlier, research firm IDC said on Tuesday, the largest decline since IDC started tracking PC shipments.
Longer lifecycles for PCs, along with competition from mobile phones and tablets, have continued to hobble demand, IDC said. The industry also faced a tough comparison to a year-ago period when many consumers were snapping up heavily promoted low-cost PCs, it said.
Gartner, a rival research firm, put the decline at 8.3 percent.
Shipments totaled 71.9 million units, up slightly from the third quarter but the largest year-on-year decline in IDC’s records, topping a 9.8 percent decline in 2013.
Business should increase later this year as companies that had delayed replacing machines until upgrading to Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system, make the switch, IDC said. It also expects consumers to upgrade their own machines.
PC shipments fell in all regions, IDC said, including a 4.3 percent decline in the United States compared to a year earlier.
Lenovo led PC makers with 21.4 percent market share worldwide, followed by HP with 19.9 percent and Dell with 14.1 percent.
In the United States, HP held a 28.1 percent market share, down slightly compared to a year earlier, with Dell second at 23.9 percent, up slightly compared to the previous year. (Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli, Bernard Orr)