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Apple's Mac continues to buck worldwide PC shipment decline in Q1

Riding a resurgence in Mac sales that kicked off in the fourth quarter of 2016, Apple saw a 4.5 percent increase in shipments over the three-month period ending in March as the wider PC market fell further into the red.




The latest statistics from Gartner put Apple in fifth place with 4.2 million units shipped, good for 6.8 percent of the market. The figure is up 4.5 percent from the same time last year.

Chinese PC maker Lenovo boosted its lead with 12.4 million units shipped, up 1.2 percent from last year to take 19.9 percent share of the global market. HP trailed with 12 million shipments, which translated to 19.5 percent of the market, up 6.5 percent from last year.

Dell and Asus ended the quarter in third and fourth place, respectively. Dell shipped an estimated 9.4 million units, up 3.4 percent from 2016. Asus, the only top-five brand to suffer a sales contraction, shipped 4.6 percent million units for a 7.3 percent marketshare, down 14 percent year over year.

Acer placed sixth behind Apple with a 6.7 percent share of the market on 4.2 million shipments, down 1.8 percent from the year ago quarter.

According to Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa, PC vendors will need to place more emphasis on enterprise sales as consumer demand dries up. Overall PC shipments dipped 2.4 percent year over year, continuing a negative sales trend that has been in effect for more than five years.

"The top three vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — will battle for the large-enterprise segment," Kitagawa said. "The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals."

In the U.S., Apple maintained its fourth place spot with 1.5 million units shipped and 12 percent of the market, down 0.9 percent year over year. HP again led the U.S. with 3.6 million PC shipments and a 29.1 percent share of the domestic market, a 15.9 percent uptick from 2016. Dell dipped 4.3 percent year over year to 3.2 million units shipped, still good enough for a 26.4 percent marketshare. Lenovo managed 1.7 million shipments for a 14 percent marketshare.

As usual, IDC also released preliminary estimates on Tuesday, with figures contradicting Gartner's estimates. For reference, Gartner includes ultraportables like Microsoft's Surface hybrid in its metrics, but does not account for tablets like iPad.

According to IDC, Apple came in fourth with 4.2 million units shipped and a 7 percent global marketshare. Compared to last year, the performance was up 4.1 percent. HP led the pack with 13 million shipments for a 21.8 percent take, up 13.1 percent on the year. Lenovo followed close behind with a 20.4 percent share of the market on 12.3 million units shipped, up 1.7 percent year over year.

Dell shipped 9.6 million PCs in the first quarter, according to IDC, rating a 15.9 percent marketshare. Acer tracked close behind Apple in fifth place with 4.1 million units shipped and a 6.8 percent marketshare.

Interestingly, IDC has the overall PC market up slightly at 0.6 percent, which if accurate is the first sign of sector growth in more than five years.