The industry analysts at Gartner claim that PC shipments in Q2 2013 fell almost 11 percent year over year, to 76 million units. This marks the fifth quarter in a row in which PC sales have fallen, and Gartner says that makes this the longest decline in history.

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said. “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

Related: "Microsoft's Vision for the Replaceable PC"

Gartner threw cold water on the notion that Windows 8 had anything to do with the decline.

“While Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market’s decline,” the firm noted, “we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments, nor does it explain Apple’s [negative] market performance.”

Lenovo pushed HP aside, as expected, to become the biggest maker of PCs worldwide, selling 12.7 million units, compared with 12.4 million for HP. Lenovo is also poised to overtake Apple as the number-three PC maker in the United States: Whereas Apple’s Mac sales fell 4.3 percent to a projected 1.7 million units in the United States in the quarter, Lenovo PC sales skyrocketed 19.7 percent to 1.5 million units.

I don’t consider these results final, as I generally average Gartner’s numbers with IDC’s, and will do so when the latter company issues its own report. But the Gartner report did clear up one question many had about which device types are counted: According to the firm, the data includes sales of desktop PCs and mobile PCs, including x86 tablets equipped with Windows 8.

Related: "IDC: 2013 PC Sales Down More than Expected"