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PC shipments just grew for the first time in six years

Smartphones are still dominating, but Windows, Mac and Linux are hanging on.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
Aloysius Low/CNET

You know those iPad ads where some young whippersnapper asks, "What's a computer?" as if the PC is long dead? According to market research firm Gartner, the death of PC sales hasn't yet come to pass. According to market research firms Gartner and IDC, worldwide PC shipments just grew for the first time in six years.

Gartner and IDC's numbers differ slightly -- Gartner says they grew 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2018, while IDC says they grew 2.7 percent, but each agrees that it's the strongest growth since 2012, when some of the most cutting-edge laptops looked like this:

HP Envy 14 Spectre

Each firm says the industry shipped around 62 million PCs this past three months.

That doesn't mean we should necessarily expect that the PC is having a resurgence or even a recovery, though -- merely that it's sticking around. Two days ago, Gartner predicted that the PC and tablet market would decline by 1.2 percent over the course of 2018 and dip slightly over the next few years, predicting an overall decline of 7 million units by 2020.

Here's a couple tables that show you some of the nuances:

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET
Enlarge Image
Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

Here's last quarter's results for comparison.

Originally pubished July 12 at 2:49 p.m. PT.

Update, July 13 at 1:52p.m. PT:  Added IDC numbers.

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