However, both the firms said that the decline in PC shipments numbers is less than their expectations. IDC said that Worldwide PC shipments touched 68.5 million units in January-March 2015, a year-on-year fall of 6.7 per cent, whereas Gartner pegged the global shipments at 71.7 million units with a decline 5.2 per cent, the research firms said in separate statements.
"PC shipments beat expectations despite weak currencies and product transitions," IDC said. Gartner Principal Analyst Mikako Kitagawa said that PC industry received a boost in 2014 as many firms replaced their PCs due to the end of Windows XP support, but that replacement cycle faded in the first quarter of 2015.
However, the decline is not necessarily a sign of sluggish PC sales in long term. "Mobile PCs, including notebooks, hybrid and Windows tablets grew compared with a year ago.
The first quarter results support our projection of a moderate decline of PC shipments in 2015, which will lead to a slow, consistent growth stage for the next five years," he added.
IDC's Senior Research Analyst Worldwide PC Trackers Jay Chou says that as more vendors find it increasingly difficult to compete, the research firm expects additional consolidation in the PC market.
"Although shipments did exceed an already cautious forecast, the market unfortunately remains heavily dependent on pricing being a major driver, with entry SKU volume masking a still tenuous demand for higher priced systems that is needed to sustain a more diverse PC ecosystem," he added.
Pricing pressure is bringing many premium SKUs into formerly mid-level pricing tiers, Chou said. IDC added that growth in the PC shipments centered on portables, particularly around emerging product categories such as Chromebooks, Bing, Ultraslims and Convertibles.