More home users may require ink cartridges for wireless printers that can connect to a mobile device in the future, as it has been revealed that sales of PCs in the UK are down.

Research by Gartner suggested the drop in shipments from 2.89 million units in the second quarter of 2010 to 2.46 million for the same period this year could be partly due to people opting for other gadgets.

Principal analyst at the firm Isabelle Durand observed: "Most consumers continue to hold back spending on PCs by extending life cycles on existing PCs and purchasing other devices."

Similar falls were seen across western Europe, with the organisation suggesting new technology such as smartphones and tablets is impacting sales of traditional machines.

Overall, desktop sales for the market were down by 15.4 per cent compared with last year, while laptops saw a 20.4 per cent decline.

If people are turning to other consumer gadgets such as tablets as their primary device, a Wi-Fi enabled printer may be useful if they wish to print directly from their handset.

Many printer makers offer free apps for Apple and Android users that can allow them to send documents from these products.