Sales of personal computers are expected to decline by 2.7% this year, the latest analysis shows.

Technology research firm IDC has also predicted that PC shipments will fall a further 4% next year. 

IDC estimated that the decline will continue beyond 2018, with sales falling to 393.8 million in 2021, compared to 423.3 million today.

The majority of the reduction in the sales is happening in desktops and slates, with shipments of detachable tablets expected to grow by 0.3% over the next five years. 

Workstations and notebook PCs will also see increases in sales, IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker predicts. 

IDC said although some market segments are showing signs of improvement, price points are very sensitive, particularly in countries that had previously showed promising growth.

"Detachable tablets are expected to see double-digit growth from 2018 through 2021," said Ryan Reith from IDC

"Windows-based detachables already count for close to 50% of the volume in this category and this isn't expected to change much over the duration of the forecast," he added.