Worldwide PC shipments flat in 2018's first quarter

But HP and Dell grew their PC businesses during the stagnant quarter, market researchers find.

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HP held on to its PC sales crown during an effectively flat first quarter for worldwide shipments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

HP and Dell still managed to grow their PC businesses amid a first quarter that was stagnant for worldwide shipments, according to reports Wednesday by market researchers IDC and Gartner.

PC makers shipped 60.4 million units in the first three months of 2018, effectively flat from a year ago, according to IDC, which found that HP again claimed the top sales spot. In a separate report, Gartner found that global PC makers shipped 61.7 million units in the period, a decline of 1.4 percent year over year,  the 14th consecutive quarter of decline for the worldwide PC market.

Gartner placed much of the blame for the flat quarter on the Asia-Pacific region, which saw shipments decline 3.9 percent compared with the same quarter last year, while shipments to the US declined 2.9 percent.

"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. "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."

HP captured 22.6 percent of the market on 4.3 percent year-over-year growth, IDC said. Lenovo came in second with 20.4 percent market share and flat growth, while Dell took the No. 3 spot with 16.9 percent market share on 6.4 percent year-over-year growth.

Gartner's results on HP were a little more conservative, at 20.8 percent market share on 2.8 percent year-over-year growth. Lenovo held on to a 20 percent market share on 0.3 percent growth, while Dell again grabbed 16 percent market share on its robust year-over-year growth of 6.5 percent.

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