Worldwide PC shipments experienced double-digit growth in the second quarter, the first time since the third quarter of 2000, according to Gartner research.
Second-quarter shipments increased 10% from the same period last year to 32.8 million, the market research group said .
Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's worldwide computing platforms group, said the PC industry performed better than expected, suggesting that market conditions are improving.
He warned, however, that sustained improvement will depend on economic conditions and their effect on the business upgrade cycle.
Recent survey data from Gartner confirmed that US corporate IT budgets remain tight.
Four of top five suppliers worldwide achieved double-digit growth rates in the second quarter. Dell was top with a 17.6% market share, shipping 5.8 million PCs in the second quarter compared with 4.6 million the year before, representing a growth rate of 29.5%.
Hewlett-Packard garnered 16.1% market share. In the second quarter, shipping 5.3 million PCs compared with 4.7 million the year before, representing a growth rate of 12.1%.
Even though IBM boosted growth by 13.4%, shipping 2.2 million PCs, the company came third with a 6.7% market share.
Fujitsu., in fourth place, shipped 1.3 million units in the second quarter, or 10.8% more than the year before, accounting for a 4% market share.
NEC was the only top-five supplier to experience a second-quarter dip in shipments, down 2.7%. The vendor has a market share of 3.1%.
Second-quarter PC shipments in the US rose 11.1%, partly driven by strong demand from the consumer and education segments. Competitive pricing and mobile PCs were important drivers in the home market.
Dell also led the pack in the US with a second-quarter growth rate of 26.1%, shipping 3.7 million units. With a market share of 31.1% Dell nearly surpassed the combined 32.8% unit shipment share of HP, IBM, Gateway and Apple .
The PC market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) exceeeded expectation in the second quarter, with unit shipments up 13% over the same period the year before, according to preliminary figures released by Gartner. This growth was the strongest in the region since 1999, the market research group said.
However, while PC sales to consumers failed to rebound from the slowdown at the end of the first quarter of 2003, shipments to businesses accelerated.
In Europe, HP was the top vendor, with a 19.4% market share and 13.3 % growth rate in the second quarter. HP shipped 1.7 million units in the quarter.
Even though Dell, with a market share of 9.7%, remained a distant second to HP, the company showed a strong second-quarter performance with a growth rate of 31.2%.
Fujitsu Siemens Computers was the third largest supplier, with a market share of 6.6% and a growth rate of 3.8%. Fujitsu Siemens was followed by IBM with a 5.7% market share and 18.9% growth rate.
Meanwhile, Acer, second only to Dell with a growth rate of 25.3% was the fifth largest supplier of PCs in Europe with a market share of 4.6% in the second quarter.
PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific region fellow below expectations, largely because of the Sars outbreak. Data on unit shipments in the region were not immediately available.
John Blau writes for IDG News Service