Is the recession over for the PC industry? On the heels of yesterday's Intel results, Gartner has posted an equally encouraging set of preliminary numbers. Compared to the same time period a year ago, these numbers say worldwide PC shipments grew by 0.5% last quarter. In stark contrast, the same research firm recorded a 5% decline in the second quarter and a 6.5% dive in the first.
Gartner sounds surprised, saying the PC industry beat its expectations. The firm missed its mark by quite a lot, too: it initially expected a 5.6% drop in shipments last quarter.
Market-share-wise, the third quarter saw the rise of Acer, which surged past Dell to claim 15.4% of the market. HP remained in first place with 19.9%, while Dell fell behind with 12.8%. The quarter before, HP was in much the same position, but Dell and Acer were practically tied with 13.6% and 13.5% of shipments, respectively.
PC shipments also grew quite a bit in the United States: Gartner quotes a 3.9% year-over-year increase, which compares quite favorably to the second quarter's 1.2% year-over-year drop. Dell fared quite a bit better here, too, keeping its top position with a 26.2% share and slightly widening its lead over HP, which grabbed 25.7% of the market. Acer came in third with 13.9%, and Apple was in fourth place with 8.8%, a 0.1-point increase over Q2.
What about the fourth quarter? Gartner says it expects Windows 7 to have a "minimal impact on PC unit growth." However, it adds that inventory adjustments "could artificially affect shipment volumes during the third and fourth quarters of 2009."