Global PC shipments declined 2.4% in first quarter: Gartner

CBS News

HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple and Acer emerged as the top five vendors by shipments during the quarter, with Dell notching 6.2 per cent growth and Apple seeing 4.1 per cent growth during the quarter.

IDC also released its PC market shipment estimates today, and as per usual, its numbers tell a different story, in part because of the difference in the way tablets are counted by each firm.

Dell was in third position with 15 percent of the market in the first quarter of this year, Gartner reported.

"Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market", said Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement. Gartner, however, said PC shipments in Q1 declined 2.4% year-over-year and were below 63 million units in a quarter for the first time since 2007. IDC said yesterday that global shipments of PCs were up for the first time on an annualised basis since the first quarter of 2012. Gartner also stressed that as consumer demand continues to decline, the business PC market will grow increasingly important.

In the US, according to Gartner, Lenovo retained its No. 3 ranking in shipments behind HP and Dell, respectively, with a 14 percent market share. Two companies controlled the market: Lenovo and HP Inc.

All five of the top vendors - ranked by shipments - saw some measure of growth for the quarter, with HP taking the top spot with 13.1 percent. Pricing pressure was felt in the Chinese consumer market despite continuing strong demand for gaming and ultraslim notebooks, though China's commercial market fared better thanks to public sector demand.

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Lenovo's growth exceeded the regional average in all key regions except the US.

Now, new figures from Gartner have shown that for yet another quarter, the number of PCs sold around the world has dropped. "Apart from factors such as relatively improved commercial PC performance as well as a few component shortages, which continued to add to a better inventory situation, the overall PC performance for the quarter remained fairly sublime". Over two years ago, the price hike was attributed to the local currency deterioration against the USA dollar.

After years of falling sales (-11.5% in Q1 2016, -4.5% in Q2 2016, -3.9% in Q3 2016 and -1.5% in Q4 2016 for example) it seems PC sales may have finally hit bottom and may be bouncing back.

"Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) prices have doubled since the middle of 2016, and solid state drives (SSD) [have] been in short supply as well", Kitagawa said. Prices of the components are expected to rise even more in the coming quarters, which could affect PC prices.

"All major regions in EMEA experienced a decline in the first quarter".

Japan's traditional PC market has recovered with healthy macroeconomics and an emerging PC refresh cycle particularly in commercial.

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