PC shipments better than expected

Worldwide PC shipments are showing signs of recovery, says Gartner, returning to growth in the third quarter of 2008, albeit a growth of just 0.5%. The analyst firm had expected shipments to fall 5.6%.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific was responsible for much of the growth, with a 16% increase in shipments led by China’s booming PC market, which grew 28.5% in the quarter.

Conversely, the Europe, Middle East and Africa market remained weak, recording a 4.5% sequential decline despite being offset by the popularity of mini-notebooks – now responsible for one in five of all mobile PC shipments in EMEA.

This led to Acer taking the lead over HP in the EMEA market, with a 12.4% increase in shipments, while those of the latter shrank 3.8%. Dell was particularly affected, given its reliance on business sales, suffering a 17.6% decline.

“Despite some signs of return in IT spending, hardware will continue to see lifecycles extended. PCs were the first sector to be impacted by cost containment strategies at the beginning of the year and are likely to be the last IT segment to see a return to spending,” said Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal.

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