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According to a new preliminary data by research firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 61.7 million units in the first quarter of 2018, a 1.4 percent decline from the first quarter of 2017.
The PC market experienced a 14th consecutive quarter of decline, dating back to the second quarter of 2012, data said.
"The major contributor to the decline came from China, where unit shipments declined 5.7 percent year over year," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
Kitagawa said, "This was driven by China's business market, where some state-owned and large enterprises postponed new purchases or upgrades, awaiting new policies and officials' reassignments after the session of the National People's Congress in early March."
"In the first quarter of 2018, there was some inventory carryover from the fourth quarter of 2017," he added. "At the same time, vendors were cautious in overstocking due to the upcoming release of new models in the second quarter of 2018 with Intel's new eighth-generation core processors."
The data said that, Asia/Pacific and the US experienced declining shipments, while other regions saw some minimal growth, but it was not enough to drive overall growth for the PC industry.
In the first quarter of 2018, PC shipments in Asia/Pacific declined 3.9 percent compared with the same period last year, while shipments in the US decreased 2.9 percent.
The top three vendors - HP, Lenovo and Dell - accounted for 56.9 percent of global PC shipments in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 54.5 percent of shipments in the first quarter of 2017, while Dell experienced the strongest growth rate among the top six vendors worldwide, as its shipments increased 6.5 percent.
Gartner said that HP Inc.'s worldwide PC shipments increased 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 versus the same period last year. In EMEA, HP Inc. recorded double-digit growth in both desktop and mobile PCs. Lenovo achieved 6 percent growth in EMEA and double-digit shipment growth in Latin America. However, in Asia/Pacific (its largest market), PC shipments declined 4 percent and after record holiday sales for consumer and gaming products in the fourth quarter of 2017, Dell continued to perform well in the first quarter of 2018. With double-digit shipment increases in EMEA, North America, and Latin America, Dell grew in all regions except Asia/Pacific. Desktop and mobile PCs grew in equal measures, showing Dell's strength in the business segment.
In contrast to other DRAM-related price spikes, PC vendors are not reacting by reducing DRAM content. Rather they have passed the cost increase to consumers," Kitagawa said. "With fewer people buying new machines, manufacturers need to get the highest profit margin from each sale. To do that, they are raising the selling points and focusing on customer experience or perception of value."