PC shipments unchanged at 60.4 mln in Q1 - IDC

PC shipments slump for the 14th consecutive quarter, surprising no one

Worldwide PC shipments hit 61.7 million units - a 1.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2017. Continued focus on gaming systems also injected slight improvement in pockets of the consumer space. Unlike the first quarter of 2017, an improved supply of key notebook components also loosened pressures on both supply and pricing, leading to some recovery of share for the smaller vendors.

From a geographic perspective, mature markets fared better. HP Inc's worldwide PC shipments increased 2.8 per cent in the first quarter as compared to the same period previous year.

The biggest contributors to the decline were the United States and Chinese markets, Gartner claimed. Emerging markets were more of a mixed bag as Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) shrank for the quarter while Latin America continued to recover positively against a tough 2017.

"The market is continuing on a resilient path which should see modest commercial momentum through 2020", Jay Chou, a research manager with IDC, said in a statement. "A likely rise in commercial activity amidst a positive economic environment is expected to further strengthen demand".

The US market saw a promising opening quarter for the year with nearly all major vendors reporting increases in notebook sales. The retail platform is also showing signs of stability, especially among the fast-growing gaming community.

Dell saw the greatest resurgence of all major vendors, boosting shipments by 6.4 percent in the quarter versus a year earlier. Shipments of traditional PCs have been sliding for years, and while that decline has been slowing - driven, analysts claim, by a tailing off of interest in smartphone and tablet devices - sustained growth still seems to be a dim and distant memory.

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PC shipments held steady during the first quarter, supported by business sales, while higher-end notebooks helped slow consumers' continued move to smartphones and smaller touchscreen devices.

"In EMEA, HP Inc recorded double-digit growth in both desktop and mobile PCs".

Gartner said a number of factors had been responsible for the latest shipments slump, including lower PC demand in China, the delayed release of new PC models and component shortages coupled with rising prices for materials stymieing the PC market.

Chinese competitor Lenovo saw no sales growth and had just more than 20 percent of the market.

The top three vendors - HP, Lenovo and Dell - accounted for 56.9 per cent of the global PC shipments - compared with 54.5 per cent of shipments in the first quarter of 2017.

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