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PC Shipments Show Surprise Q1 Growth

Stamford, Conn. – Worldwide PC shipments made an unexpected
jump during the first quarter, according to Gartner’s latest research.

First-quarter PC shipments worldwide totaled 89 million
units, up 1.9 percent from the 87.3 million shipped during the same period in
2011. Gartner had forecast a 1.2 percent decline for the quarter.

The unexpected increase was due to stronger sales it the
EMEA region, despite a slowdown in India and China.

U.S. shipments fell 3.5 percent to 15.5 million for the
quarter, down from the 16 million shipped during 2011’s first quarter. Gartner
had predicted a 6.6 percent decline for the period.

Gartner said the hard-disk-drive shortage created by the
massive flooding in Thailand in late 2011 did not impact shipments and sales as
much as expected.

“In general, the hard-disk drive (HDD) supply shortage
had a limited impact on PC supply during 1Q12. There was a moderate impact on
selected markets, such as low-end consumer notebooks and the white-box market
in selected regions. Still, low PC demand was able to mask the tight HDD supply
overall,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Overall, consumer PC sales for the quarter were particularly
weak. While sales normally decline during the first quarter, they were steeper
than usual, Gartner said, due to the number of other devices, such as tablets,
vying for consumer’s dollars.

In the United States, Hewlett-Packard maintained its
position as top PC shipper. HP increased shipments 6.6 percent to 4.5 million,
giving the company 29 percent of the market. Second-place Dell saw shipments
shrink 3.6 percent to 3.4 million. Apple jumped into third place, shipping 1.6 million
units, outpacing fourth-place Acer and fifth-place Toshiba. These two companies
saw their shipments fall 25.9 and 19.2 percent, respectively.