However, this represented a fall of 8% from the final quarter of 2020, IDC said, adding that while sequential declines were typical for the first quarter, such a small decline had not been witnessed since the first quarter of 2012, when the first quarter showed a 7.5% decline.
The company said that while there was huge demand for PCs, the growth for this quarter was partly an outcome of the shortages seen in the first quarter of 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak began.
"Unfulfilled demand from the past year has carried forward into the first quarter and additional demand brought on by the pandemic has also continued to drive volume," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers.
IDC said the demand for PCs and increases in average selling prices had primarily been driven by more gaming, the need for higher performance notebooks in the enterprise, and more demand for touchscreens in the education sector.
"There is no question when entering 2021 the backlog for PCs was extensive across business, consumer, and education," said Ryan Reith, program vice-president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
"The ongoing shortages in the semiconductor space only further prolong the ability for vendors to refill inventory and fulfill orders to customers. We believe a fundamental shift has occurred around the PC, which will result in a more positive outlook for years to follow.
"All three segments — business, education, and consumer — are experiencing demand that we didn't expect to happen regardless of many countries beginning their ‘opening up’ process.
"Component shortages will likely be a topic of conversation for the majority of 2021, but the more important question should be what PC demand will look like in 2-3 years."