For the first time in six quarters, worldwide shipments of personal computers declined during the first three months of 2011, according to reports from Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. (IDC) released this week. Despite faltering demand for PCs, Apple enjoyed increased sales and market share compared to the year-ago quarter.
IDC's report indicated 80.6 million PCs shipped worldwide during the quarter -- a 3.2% decline from the same time last year. Gartner's figures showed sales dipped by 1.1% to 84.3 million units. In the United States, both firms agreed PC sales dropped from about 17 million units in the first quarter of 2010 to about 16.1 million PCs this year. Meanwhile, Apple watched its figures grow in the US, netting either 8.5% or 9.3% of the market -- a healthy jump from the 7% share the Cupertino-based company saw at the start of 2010.
Apple's iPad may have also taken a significant bite out of PC sales. IDC said tablets like the iPad, which weren't included in either reporting firm's PC shipment calculations, contributed to shrinking demand for more powerful -- and more expensive -- notebooks and desktops.