Gartner: PC shipments rose last quarter

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."

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