SAN JOSE, Calif. — Weak demand for desktop computers caused PC sales to plunge more than 5 percent in this year’s first quarter, reflecting the industry’s ongoing struggles with the shift to smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets.

The Gartner research firm says the big reason for the decline was businesses buying fewer desktop computers.

Gartner reported an increase in sales of laptop computers and hybrid models that combine features of tablets and laptops. But that didn’t make up for the rapid decline in desktop sales.

PC sales have fallen in all but two quarters of the last three years, according to Gartner, which projects a more moderate decline this year.

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