According to the latest numbers from both Gartner and IDC, the continuing slow decline of worldwide PC shipments has just crossed a pretty significant milestone. Specifically, PC shipments worldwide were down by between 5.7% and 6.2% in 2016, making it the fifth consecutive year of declines in the industry.

2016 marked the fifth straight year of declining PC shipments worldwide

Gartner and IDC differ slightly on exact numbers because of how each firm counts shipments, but both are in agreement on the overall decline. For its part, Gartner posits that the PC market will continue to stagnate, but growth opportunities within the market present themselves in business, gaming and the "engaged PC user market." IDC, on the other hand, says that it expects "market stabilization, and even some recovery" as contraction starts to ease.

Shop Cyber Monday deals at: Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy | Microsoft | Dell

The total number of shipments for 2016 hovered somewhere between 260 and 270 million units, depending on whether you go with Gartner's or IDC's numbers. Of those, Lenovo, HP, and Dell took the top 3 vendor spots, respectively. Curiously, while the whole of the market was down for 2016, each of the top 3 vendors saw slight growth in the 4th quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

For more, be sure to check out the full reports from Gartner and IDC.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.