Research firm Gartner reports worldwide PC shipments returned to growth in the third quarter of 2009. A total of 80.9 million units were shipped last quarter, a 0.5 percent increase from Q3 2008 while Gartner analysts had expected PC shipments to decline 5.6 percent in the quarter.
“These are good results especially given that PC shipments for the third quarter of 2009 are being compared to a very strong third quarter from 2008,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Sequentially, third quarter shipments grew 18 per cent, which is higher than the historical seasonal growth from the second to third quarter.”
“The consumer market continued to lead unit shipment growth, driven by low priced mobile PCs,” Ms Kitagawa said. “Ongoing price declines continue to be a major issue in the PC industry. PC vendor performance cannot be determined solely by unit market share gains as related revenues and margin performance are key to surviving in very competitive market.”
Gartner analysts said the launch of Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS), Windows 7, should have a minimal impact on PC unit growth. But inventory adjustments around the launch could artificially affect shipment volumes during the third and fourth quarters of 2009.
“Recent OS releases have not been a growth driver in the PC market, however the timing of Windows 7 is favourable for the industry due to expected economic improvements and an overdue hardware replacement cycle,” Ms Kitagawa said. “We anticipate renewed interest in hardware upgrades from consumers and small business during the holiday season as a result of Windows 7’s release. In the corporate market, Windows 7’s adoption is not expected to ramp up until late 2010.
The biggest worldwide PC shipper was HP with a marketshare of 19.9 percent, up from 18.4 percent in Q3 2008. Acer was the biggest grower, the company shipped 23.6 percent more systems and managed to beat Dell with a marketshare of 15.4 percent, up from 12.5 percent the year before. Dell now holds the third place with a marketshare of 12.8 percent, down from 13.8 percent as the company saw its shipments decline by 6.7 percent. Lenovo ranks fourth with a marketshare of 8.5 percent, followed by Toshiba at 5 percent. Full details and a regional breakdown can be found at Gartner.