Gartner: Worldwide PC Shipments Returned to Growth

New Q3 figures show better than expected shipments

The PC industry performed better than expected as worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.9 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 0.5 percent increase from the third quarter of 2008, according to preliminary results by Gartner. Gartner 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 percent, which is higher than the historical seasonal growth from the second to third quarter," she added.

"The consumer market continued to lead unit shipment growth, driven by low priced mobile PCs," said Kitagawa. "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 alone as related revenues and margin performance are key to surviving in very competitive market," she added.

Hewlett-Packard continued to lead the worldwide PC market as its shipment growth exceeded the worldwide average. HP did well in Asia-Pacific, particularly in China. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, HP's shipments declined, but it was less of a drop compared to the EMEA average.

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's is favorable for the industry due to expected economic improvements and an overdue hardware replacement cycle," said Kitagawa.

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