One big reason for the decline was businesses buying fewer desktop computers, according to the Gartner research firm. It noted companies have mostly finished replacing older PCs that used outdated Windows XP software.
PC sales may get a boost later this year when Microsoft releases its next version of Windows, analysts said, but they’re still expecting an overall decline in sales for this year.
Gartner added that there had been an sales of laptop computers and hybrid models that combine features of tablets and laptops. That could help drive a gradual return to growth by next year.
Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa estimates PC makers shipped 71.7 million computers in the first quarter, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier.
Some computer makers are doing better than others. China’s Lenovo saw an increase in worldwide sales, as did its nearest competitor, the maker of expensive printer ink HP.. However smaller companies, including Dell, saw sales decline.
Global PC sales have fallen steadily over the last three years, but Gartner are projecting a return to growth in 2016. Tablet users are giving up on the technology and are moving back to notebooks.