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PC shipments up nearly 2 percent in 1st quarter

The number of personal computers shipped worldwide rose more than expected in the first quarter.

Gartner Inc. said there were 89 million PCs shipped, up 1.9 percent from a year earlier. IDC estimated shipments rose 2.3 percent.

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The reports beat expectations, but the PC industry is still in a state of flux. Personal computers have taken a backseat to tablet computers not only in the United States but in China and India, where ownership is low.

Gartner says the quarter serves as a warning that PC makers cannot rely on growth in such regions.

But Gartner’s results reveal worse-than-normal growth as consumers and businesses opt for smaller, sleeker devices.

Gartner said that PC shipments declined 3.5 percent in the United States. Shipments to Asia rose 2 percent, weighed down by weak demand in India and China. Shipments to Latin America declined 3.2 percent.

Shipments to Japan rose 11.5 percent and those to the larger Europe and Middle East region increased 6.7 percent.

IDC found similar trends but was slightly more optimistic. It expects PC shipments to pick up by the fourth quarter.

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