Analysts remain hopeful for hybrid laptops amid continued PC slump: Gartner

Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, the world's top two PC vendors, also both saw PC shipment increases during the first quarter.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Another quarter, another report tracing the decline of PC shipments. Nevertheless, Gartner analysts are hopeful about a few things.

Approximately 71.7 million units shipped worldwide during the first quarter of 2015, down 5.2 percent from the same time last year, according to Gartner's latest report on Thursday.

Gartner defined that category to span desktop PCs, notebook PCs and premium ultramobiles but not Chromebooks, Windows-based tablets with smaller than a 10-inch display, and other non-Windows-based tablets.

Vendor-wise, third place Dell was called out for suffering an more painful milestone as the Texas-based PC company that went private the year prior experienced a worldwide PC shipment decline for the first time in six quarters.

With that bad news out of the way, Gartner analysts proposed a number of optimistic outlooks on top of all of this.

"However, this decline is not necessarily a sign of sluggish overall PC sales long term," wrote Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "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."

Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, the world's top two PC vendors, also both saw PC shipment increases during the first quarter.

With more than 13.5 million shipments in Q1, top seed Lenovo was found to have experienced its strongest growth in the United States as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in large part due to the surge for hybrid notebooks. Lenovo's flagship entry in this vertical is the Yoga, with the most recent iterations debuting earlier this year.

Asus and Acer rounded out the global vendor leader board in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Domestically, the PC market decline was much narrower at just 1.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014, but it was still lamented as the first shipment decline in the U.S. after four consecutive quarters of shipment growth last year.

HP continued to lead in its home market with more than 3.6 million units shipped, accounting for 26.1 percent of the U.S. market share, trailed by Dell, Apple, Lenovo and Asus, respectively.

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