Global sales of personal computers surged in the fourth quarter of 2009 to achieve the biggest annual gain in seven years.
PC sales grew by between 15% and 22% in the period from October to December, driven mainly by the popularity of low-cost notebook and netbook computers.
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Overall, shipments rose 2.3% in 2009, according to IDC, but Gartner puts the growth as high as 5.2%.
The PC market's comeback is an unexpectedly strong indication of a broader recovery, according to the Financial Times.
HP remains the world leader in the PC market, growing its share of the market to 21% and posting a 23% increase in the fourth quarter over the same period in 2008, according to IDC.
Acer, in second place, grew its share to 13.4% and recorded 28% year-on-year growth for the fourth quarter.
Dell lost market share, falling from around 13% to 12.4% despite a 5% growth in sales, followed by Lenovo, which increased sales by 42% and Toshiba, which saw a 30% rise.