PC deliveries hold their ground in first quarter

Worldwide PC deliveries were unchanged in the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier

FILE- In this April 2, 2018, file photo, the illuminated company logo shines off the top of an open Apple MacBook as an unidentified man works in the balcony of the Colorado Senate chambers. Analysts expect companies in the S&P 500 to report a jump in earnings for the first three months of the year. Technology companies will be under scrutiny because that’s where expectations for revenue growth are close to the highest. Analysts are calling for gains of more than 10 percent for a wide range of companies, from Apple to PayPal. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Personal-computer 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.

Worldwide PC deliveries were unchanged in the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier, and HP Inc. again led sales in the stagnant industry, market analyst IDC said Wednesday in a report. In a separate report, research firm Gartner  said it found global shipments declined 1.4 per cent in the period.

PC manufacturers including HP, Lenovo Group and Dell Technologies shipped 60.4 million notebooks, desktops and workstations in the period ended March 31. IDC had projected shipments would drop by 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, so the results were better than expected. Still, only two of the top five vendors sold more units in the period than a year earlier, as most struggle to compete against smartphones and tablets.

“The market is continuing on a resilient path which should see modest commercial momentum through 2020,” said Jay Chou, a research manager with IDC.


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Demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa showed stable growth, while the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, disappointed with lower-than-expected shipments.

Gartner said it found that worldwide PC shipments fell for the 14th consecutive quarter. Much of the decline was attributed to weaker demand in China, where deliveries dropped 5.7 per cent in the period from a year earlier.

Demand for premium laptops among consumers and businesses helped to support shipments, as did gaming systems, according to IDC.

HP notched its eighth-consecutive quarter of unit growth, and maintained its status as the world’s No. 1 PC maker. The Palo Alto, California-based company captured almost 23 per cent of the global market, selling 13.7 million computers. HP has continued to grow more than the industry, jumping 4.3 per cent in the period from a year earlier. Chinese competitor Lenovo saw no sales growth, and had just more than 20 per cent of the market.

Dell saw the greatest resurgence of all major vendors, boosting shipments by 6.4 per cent in the quarter versus a year earlier. The Round Rock, Texas-based company gained almost 17 per cent of the global market - enough to retain its third-place spot in the rankings.

Dell may have been helped by growing demand for gaming computers, with its Alienware line of products targeted to video game players.