PC shipments will continue grow at a moderate rate, particularly boosted by a new Microsoft operating system and new ultrabook models, according to industry analyst firm Gartner.

Going by Gartner, PC shipments are expected to hit 368 million units for 2012, which is an increase of 4.4 percent from 2011. PC shipments will remain weak in 2012, as the PC market plays catch up in bringing a new level of innovation that consumers want to see in devices they purchase, said Ranjit Atwal, a research director at Gartner, in a statement.

New ultrabook models could bring positive news for increasing PC shipments. The real question is whether Windows 8 and ultrabooks will create the compelling offering that gets the earlier adopter of devices excited about PCs again, he added.

Tablets like Apple's new iPad continue to put more pressure on PC shipments. The use of applications such as email, social networking and Internet access, that were traditionally the domain of the PC, are now being used across media tablets and smartphones, making these devices in some cases more valued and attractive propositions, Atwal said.

Consumers will now look at a task that they have to perform, and they will determine which device will allow them to perform such a task in the most effective, fun and convenient way. The device has to meet the user needs not the other way round, he continued.

According to Gartner, 2013 is expected to be a better year for PC shipments which is forecast to hit 400 million units.