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HP's growth in global PC shipments stands out in Q1 2017

The global PC market continues to face challenges like declining consumer demand and tight supply of key components, but HP had a relatively strong quarter, IDC and Gartner report.

Global PC shipments were down slightly or flat for Q1 2017, depending on who you ask, but both Gartner and IDC report that HP had a relatively strong quarter.

According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, HP took the top spot in the market for the first time since Q1 2013. HP "has focused on building out a deep portfolio and saw a strong quarter in notebooks across all regions," IDC said.

IDC reports that HP shipped 13,143 units for Q1, representing 13.1 percent year-over-year growth. HP reportedly claimed 21.8 percent market share, with Lenovo taking 20.4 percent. Dell, Apple and Acer follow, in that order.

Overall, IDC reports that worldwide shipments of traditional PCs totaled 60.3 million units for the quarter, amounting to year-over-year growth of 0.6 percent. While that figure is "arguably flat, the result nonetheless represented the first foray back into positive territory since Q2 2012," IDC said.

Specifically, IDC's figures include desktops, notebooks and workstations. They do not include Tablets or x86 Servers.

Gartner reported slightly different figures but similar trends.

HP showed the strongest growth among the top six vendors, Gartner said, with shipments increasing 6.5 percent in Q1 to 12,118 units. The vendor saw growth in all regions, with 15.9 percent growth in the US. Overall, Gartner said HP captured 19.5 percent of the market.

However, Gartner reported that Lenovo shipped slightly more units for the quarter at 12,377, giving it 19.9 percent market share (and just 1.2 percent year-over-year growth).

Dell followed as the third most popular vendor, followed by Asus, Apple and Acer. Overall, Gartner said worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.2 million units for the quarter -- a 2.4 percent decline from a year prior.

Gartner's data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads.

The market faces challenges like the tight supply of key components, both Gartner and IDC reported. Gartner also stressed that as consumer demand continues to decline, the business PC market will grow increasingly important.

"Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market," said Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement. "Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years."

Both Gartner and IDC noted there's room for specialized players in consumer segments like PC gaming.