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PC sales suck (a little less)

June 24, 2013: 3:54 PM ET

A tinge of silver lining in new PC market research.

FORTUNE -- Dell Inc.'s special committee this morning published an investor presentation ahead of next month's shareholder vote on a $24.5 billion buyout offer from company founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake. Included were several requisite barbs at the personal computer market, and why shareholders would be smart to bail before things get even worse.

Here is one of the relevant pages from its presentation:


As you can see, most of the data is from research firm IDC, which made waves in April by reporting that global PC shipments fell 13.9% between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 (seems Dell's special committee rounded that down, for some reason).

What got far less attention, however, was that IDC subsequently reported that the entire 2013 forecast was for only a 7.9% dip. Moreover, it projected a slight increase in shipments by 2017.

And we got something similar today from Gartner, which had reported an 11.2% Q1 decline. Now Gartner says that the overall 2013 drop should be 10.6%.

If IDC and Gartner are correct, then the downward trajectory of PC sales actually is flattening out a little bit. Not so much as to make Dell (DELL) scrap its server or services businesses and refocus on PCs, but also not the "If you thought this quarter was bad, wait until next quarter" mentality that the April numbers at first seemed to imply. Maybe that's one reason why Carl Icahn hasn't thrown in the towel yet...

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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