Strong third-quarter PC sales have encouraged Gartner to increase its fourth-quarter PC shipment predictions to 47.2 million units worldwide.
Gartner now predicts that worldwide PC shipments will reach 164.3 million for the whole of 2003, up 10.9% on 2002.
In September, Gartner predicted that 2003 shipments would be 8.3% higher than the previous year, but has changed that estimate as a result of strong third-quarter results, led by the home and small office markets.
However, the research company said it remains cautious in its overall outlook.
Demand in the large corporate sector is still lacklustre, except in Europe, where the exchange rate between the Euro and the US dollar has been driving growth.
The US home market, possibly driven by tax rebates and lower tax withholdings, may also not continue to grow.
Latest models introduced before a Japanese PC recycling law, which was enforced in October, could have been responsible for part of the strong third quarter growth in that region. However, growth may now drop back, said Gartner.
Gartner also noted that inventory levels in the US retail market were noticeably higher than last year.
Gillian Law writes for IDG News Service
This was first published in November 2003