By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Global personal computer shipments face a deeper-than-expected 7.8 percent slump this year as tablets overtake laptops for the first time, according to a report from market research company IDC.

The firm previously had forecast a 1.3 percent decline in PC shipments for 2013 but said in a report on Tuesday that consumers content with tablets are continuing to hold off replacing ageing laptops and desktop computers.

By 2015, tablets will outship not just laptops, but all PCs, according to IDC.

Driven by growth in inexpensive devices running Google's Android platform, worldwide tablet shipments will expand 58.7 percent this year, while average selling prices for the devices will fall 10.8 percent to $381, IDC said.

Since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, PC industry heavyweights like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Intel have struggled to adapt their products to consumers' growing preferences for mobile devices.

PC shipments are expected to fall an additional 1.2 percent next year, according to IDC.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Dan Grebler)




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