Worldwide shipments of personal computers continued to slump in the recently ended quarter but showed signs of stabilising, according to the latest figures from market trackers. 

Preliminary estimates released by Gartner indicated that 61.1 million PCs were shipped in the second quarter of this year - a 4.3% decline from the same time last year. 

An IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computer Device Tracker report put the figure at 60.5 million to give a year-over-year decline of 3.3%. 

Both market trackers ranked HP as the top computer seller, saying its sales have grown despite the shrinking market. 

HP was followed by Lenovo, Dell and Apple in that order.

Higher prices due to tight supplies of some components, particularly solid state drives, were felt to be among factors that hampered sales. 

Gartner maintained that the PC industry is in the middle of a five year slump, and said the latest figures represented an 11th quarter of declining shipments in a row. 

"Amid some unevenness in market trends across the regions, the global PC market has continued to trend toward stabilisation," IDC research manager Jay Chou said in a release.

"Despite recent issues wrought by component shortages and its effect on system prices, we expect the momentum of commercial market replacements will contribute to eventual market growth," he added. 

Chou expected consumer demand for PCs to remain under pressure, but saw potential boosts from the growing popularity of powerful computers for game play and sleek new Windows machines. 

Factors hitting PC sales included growing demand for Google-backed Chromebook laptops that essentially act as gateways to services and computing power hosted in the internet cloud, according to Gartner.

Worldwide Chromebook sales grew by 38% last year, while the overall PC market shrank 6%, Gartner reported.