FORTUNE -- An Apple (AAPL) summer tradition -- strong back-to-school sales of the Mac -- finally got broken by the same disruption that has been draining growth out of the entire PC industry: The booming tablet market that Apple created when it launched the iPad in 2010.
Gartner and IDC released their third quarter PC shipment reports Wednesday, and while almost none of their numbers agree, they both report Mac sales down year over year for the first time in a back-to-school quarter since the fall of 2002.
Below: Gartner's and IDC's U.S. reports. See the links below for their worldwide numbers. Thanks to MacRumors for the line chart.
Instead, students this year get the usual 10% discount and a $100 software gift card
We always thought of the iPod touch that Apple (AAPL) offered students as part of the company's annual "Back to School" sale as the equivalent of a narcotics dealer's free sample: a gateway drug that left users craving for an iPhone.
To the dismay of much of the class of 2011, Apple has dropped the popular loss MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 16, 2011 9:31 AM ET
Details of Apple's 2008 back-to-school promotion have already leaked out and they sound like a smart way to spread interest in Steve Jobs' growing family of hand-held wireless Internet devices.
According to both AppleInsider and MacRumors, the No. 1 incentive is a free 8GB iPod touch for any college student who purchases a qualifying Mac. That's a $299 value to the student - in addition to the usual educational discount. Alternatively, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 2, 2008 5:15 PM ET
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